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Bing Crosby: The Television Specials Volume 2- The Christmas Specials

4.3 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Bing Crosby and Christmas - they're inseparable. It was only natural for the voice that sold more than 100 million copies of 'White Christmas' - and the star of such film classics as Holiday Inn and White Christmas - to eventually celebrate the season on television. This second volume of Crosby television specials showcases those Christmas shows. Included in this premiere, two-disc collection are Bing's first holiday special, produced in England in 1961, his first color special from 1962 with Mary Martin, Bing Crosby and the Sounds of Christmas with Robert Goulet and Mary Costa from 1971, and Bing s final special, Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas, which includes the iconic duet of 'The Little Drummer Boy / Peace on Earth' with David Bowie. These treasured programs have been meticulously restored from the original film and videotape sources, and are presented with all the original performances intact. Bonus Features: Happy Holidays With Bing and Frank, the 1957 color Christmas episode of the Frank Sinatra Show, outtakes from the 1962 Bing Crosby Christmas special, a rare Toys For Tots public service announcement and the 1976 tourism film, Bing's Britain.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bing Crosby, Bobe Hope, David Bowie, Robert Goulet, Mary Martin
  • Directors: na
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Infinity Entertainment/Hepcat
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 268 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0041EVYYM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,589 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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If you're a baby boomer you likely grew up watching Bing Crosby on television at least once a year, in his annual and much anticipated Christmas specials. They may have even been the only things you knew him for, if you were too young to remember the astonishing career that preceded those festive end-of-year broadcasts. Bing's holiday shows with his family, which began in the 1960s when he hosted the Hollywood Palace's (ABC's answer to the Ed Sullivan Show) Christmas programs, and continued into the 1970s when he and his family starred in their own Christmas specials, were practically an institution back in the 3-channel, pre-cable days. If you were born prior to the Second World War you likely remember Bing as the most beloved entertainer of the 20th century, with the TV Christmas shows serving as an endearing coda to a legendary performer's long career. In either case, this set of four vintage Crosby specials (plus a bonus show, outtakes and TV spots), not seen in more than three decades, should be a warm and welcome sight to your world weary eyes. This is "comfort television" of the highest order.

Bing's first two holiday TV specials--which weren't entirely devoted to a Christmas theme--comprise the first of the two discs. 1961's "Bing Crosby Show," which was filmed in England and aired on December 11th, features Terry-Thomas and Shirley Bassey, with a surprise appearance by one of Bing's old buddies. "The Bing Crosby Show for Clairol," from December 24th, 1962, was Bing's first color special, and his guests are broadway star (and two-time movie co-star with Bing) Mary Martin and pianist-conductor-composer André Previn. Filling out disc 1 are outtakes from the Clairol Special and the half-hour "Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank" (Dec.
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This second DVD release from the Bing Crosby Archive has four of Bing's Christmas specials and while I have had poor video versions of these for many years, it's wonderful to have them at last in great quality. In particular, the 1961 special filmed in England is a revelation. Several of my friends were at the filming of this and they have always raved about it. The 1962 show was Bing's first in colour and even if the quality is not as crisp as the 1961 special, it's still much better than I have ever seen before. On disc 2 are Christmas shows from 1971 and 1977 (Bing's last) and these are perfection itself. The bonus items of outtakes from the 1962 show, the Sinatra show from 1957, Bing's Britain and the Toys for Tots PSA are excellent and make this package a very attractive one indeed.

These are great Christmas shows which are bound to bring back some wonderful memories.
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I've been oh-so looking forward to this! These specials always showcased outstanding performances, and for me it's a great trip back to simpler years! Christmas was never the same without a Bing Crosby Christmas Special. My favorite (although not on these discs) was the 1973 special because it was filmed on location in real snowy weather, and had all the guests (like Michael Landon) in a real horse-pulled sleigh. None of these I fully remember as a kid except Bing's final special that featured David Bowie singing that now-famous duet with him, "The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth", which is included here. (I remember how we all commented on Bowie's hair.) I had seen the highlights show (narrated by Gene Kelly) for most of my life and could not remember seeing any uncut shows on TV after the early eighties. A few years ago, I bought a copy of the Sinatra holiday team-up (a nice bonus feature included with this) and love it! I am excited to get to share these year after year with my friends and family! Thank you so much for releasing these! Bing Crosby: The Television Specials Volume 2- The Christmas Specials
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Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby died on October 14, 1977, at age 74, less than two months after Elvis Presley died (August 16, 1977; age 42). While Elvis' birthday and death are remembered every year, particularly at five-year intervals, few people remember Crosby today. As the late Rosemary Clooney once wrote, "Only aficionados remember Bing." Oddly enough, Bing was one of Elvis' idols and early influences. Whether the two of them actually met, I have no idea; if they did, it was probably in Las Vegas or in Hollywood. John Lennon was also a Crosby fan; Bing's rendition of "Please" inspired The Beatles' "Please Please Me." And according to Crosby biographer Gary Giddins, Lennon had a jukebox of nothing but Crosby records at The Dakota.

This two-DVD set is the second volume of Bing Crosby television specials, released by his widow Kathryn and Bing Crosby Enterprises, and produced by Robert S. Bader. Four of Bing's Christmas specials are included in this set.

Disc 1 contains two shows that I was too young to remember, so this DVD was my introduction to them. They are not really Christmas shows per se, but Bing sings "White Christmas" at the end of both shows, and "The Little Drummer Boy" in the second show. The first show, which aired in December 1961 on ABC, was taped in England and features an all-British cast, including Ron Moody, Terry-Thomas, and the gorgeous Shirley Bassey, plus a cameo by British-born Bob Hope (in drag). The second show was Bing's first color special, sponsored by Clairol, and aired on Christmas Eve, 1962, also on ABC; it features Broadway legend Mary Martin, André Previn (who was still a jazz musician, not yet a symphony conductor and film composer), and the United Nations Children's Choir.
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