Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby in Spokane, Washington on May 3, 1903. Crosby left Washington for Los Angeles in 1925, where he joined Paul Whiteman’s orchestra and became one-third of a singing trio, “The Rhythm Boys.”
Crosby made his solo radio debut over CBS on September 2, 1931. By 1936, Crosby had become a major recording star and the host of NBC’s Kraft Music Hall, a weekly showcase for his casual manner, self-deprecating humor and mellifluous singing voice.
In 1946, Crosby became the first radio star to embrace the new technology of recording tape. When Kraft and NBC balked at the idea of pre-recorded shows, Crosby left the Music Hall for ABC Radio and the transcribed Philco Radio Time. The show’s success ushered in a new era of pre-recorded programming.
Crosby moved to CBS in 1949, starring on various series and the annual Christmas Sing with Bing, where he always found time to perform his biggest hit, Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.” His final radio show was a daily program with longtime friend Rosemary Clooney, which aired until 1962.
Bing Crosby died on October 14, 1977.
He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1998.