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Monday, January 02, 2012

Play a Simple Melody ~ Bing Crosby & Gary Crosby

Father & Son Song, I like this counterpoint, round & canon effect. 
One day... I just might arrange an Acappella version of it.

Play A Simple Melody ~ Bing Crosby & Gary Crosby ~ Lyrics
Composed & Arranged by Irving Berlin

Melody 1 ~ Bing Crosby (Baritone):
Won't you play some simple melody
Like my mother sang to me
One with a good old fashioned harmony
Play some simple melody

Melody 2 Gary Crosby (Tenor):
Musical demon set your honey a dreamin'
Won't you play me some rag
Just change that classical nag
To some sweet beautiful drag
If you will play from a copy
Of a tune that is choppy
You'll get all my applause
And that is simply because
I want to listen to rag

Bing and Gary Crosby - Play A Simple Melody

There are not many examples of true "counterpoint" in American popular music and most of them belong to a single composer, Irving Berlin. "Play A Simple Melody" was written for Irving's first stage musical in 1914, "Watch Your Step", and was subsequently used in the 1954 film "There's No Business Like Show Business", but the biggest hit recording of it belongs to Bing and Gary Crosby.

In 1950, father and son combined vocal talents on this number and had a huge popular hit with it, but as Gary's book on his life, "Going My Own Way", would reveal years later, his life with Bing wasn't quite as rosy as this song would make it appear.


Regarding their relationship its interesting to note that there might even be some suppressed anger coming through in Garys performance. Notice Bing's 'steady, steady' and 'don't lose your head' comments. I'm not sure that was scripted! Seems like he was on the verge of scolding his son in the middle of a song, haha.
Schizopantheist 3 months ago

i don't like to think of all the drama. just listen to music, i say.
ApoloExpress 1 year ago

@ApoloExpress Did you also know that Bing really abused Gary? He abused all of his sons from his first marriage. All four of them died before the reached 70 as well. Two of them, Dennis and Lindsay in their 50's, committed suicide, Gary died of lung cancer at just the age of 62 and Phillip died of a heart attack at 69. Bing Crosby was a very talented singer, as well as actor, but a drunken lout as well.
hulkyone 1 year ago

It's amazing that Gary would be willing to sing this song with his father, after all the abuse he gave him
hulkyone 1 year ago

cute pic where they're dressed identical :)
ApoloExpress 1 year ago

Thank you for this. I once heard the song on Radio 4 (UK) and it stuck. Today I did a search on the lyrics, then used them to locate this. It's been a long time.
KoenigZwert 1 year ago


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