Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Diamond Anniversary Edition from Paramount celebrates the 60thanniversary of the holiday classic starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. The Blu-Ray Combo Pack arrives on October 14thand includes new special features, such as five classic Christmas television show appearances by Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, including a virtual duet between Bing Crosby and Michael Bublé. There’s also an exclusive twelve-song Christmas CD featuring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney, with guest appearances by Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Judy Garland. The CD includes eight never- before-released tracks. The release also celebrates the 60thanniversary of Danny Kaye’s appointment as UNICEF’s first Goodwill Ambassador, and The Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation and Paramount Pictures are proud to make a combined $100,000 donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support UNICEF’s lifesaving work for children around the world. Danny Kaye received an honorary Academy Award for Assignment Children. The 1954 short film documented his world travels for UNICEF. Assignment Children – with a new introduction by Michael Bublé – is included among the bonus features of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas Diamond Anniversary Edition.
On October 7thMusic Video Distributors will release the two-DVD collection, The Best of the Danny Kaye Show. Danny Kaye was at the height of his popularity when The Danny Kaye Show debuted on CBS in the fall of 1963. He won the Emmy Award for best variety performer in 1964, and the show was honored with three more Emmys, including outstanding variety series. The Danny Kaye Show was the perfect showcase for its star’s unequaled range of talents. In this collection of six uncut episodes – available for the first time since their original broadcast – Danny sings with Ella Fitzgerald, Nana Mouskouri and Harry Belafonte. He sings and dances with Liza Minnelli and Gene Kelly, and deftly clowns his way through comedy sketches with Art Carney, Rod Serling, Jackie Cooper, and a certain perennially 39-year old legend of comedy, who makes an unannounced cameo appearance. Also featured in this collection are Michelle Lee, Buddy Greco, John Gary, Joe & Eddie, Lovelady Powell and Alan Young. Series regulars include Harvey Korman, Jamie Farr, Joyce Van Patten and orchestra leader Paul Weston. Among the numerous gems found in The Best of the Danny Kaye Show: Danny conducting the Television City Philharmonic, a spoof of The Twilight Zone with Rod Serling, and performances of Danny Kaye classics “Pavlova” – originally seen in the film The Kid From Brooklyn, and “Ballin’ the Jack” from On the Riviera. Danny’s other numbers include, “You Make Me Feel So Young”, “Pennies From Heaven”, and a rollicking duet of “Hava Nagila” with Harry Belafonte. Whether discovering the joy that is Danny Kaye, or revisiting his extraordinary gifts, viewers of all ages will find the irresistible and legendary entertainer at the top of his game on The Best of the Danny Kaye Show.
The 60th anniversary of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is also being celebrated in honor of Danny’s costars.
Bing Crosby, the most popular and influential multi-media star of the 20thcentury, continues to delight audiences well into the 21stcentury. His music continues to resonate and will soon be featured in two hit television series, Boardwalk Empire on HBO and Lilyhammer on Netflix.
The 2014 holiday season promises to be a bonanza for Crosby fans.
American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered premieres December 2nd nationwide on PBS (check local listings), and a DVD of the film arrives that day from PBS Distribution. The film will also get an encore airing on December 26th on PBS (check local listings). Bing Crosby’s remarkable appeal was in his seemingly effortless ability to pull an audience in with his intimate, laid-back voice. For over three decades – through radio, film, television and records – he reigned supreme. A brilliant entrepreneur, Crosby played an important role in the development of the postwar recording industry. As one of Hollywood’s most popular stars, he won an Academy Award as Best Actor for 1944’s Going My Way and starred in the iconic “Road” films with Bob Hope. Crosby recorded nearly four hundred hit singles, an achievement no one – not Sinatra, Elvis or the Beatles – has come close to matching. Thirty-seven years after his death, he remains the most recorded performer in history. American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered explores the life and legend of this iconic performer, and reveals a man far more complex than his public persona.
HLC Properties, Ltd. the company formed by Crosby’s estate, granted American Masters unprecedented access to the entertainer’s personal and professional archives, including never- before-seen home movies, Dictabelt recordings, photos and more. The film – directed by Emmy-winner Robert Trachtenberg (American Masters – Mel Brooks: Make a Noise) and narrated by Stanley Tucci – features new interviews with all surviving members of Bing Crosby’s immediate family – wife Kathryn, daughter Mary, and sons Harry and Nathaniel – as well as singers Tony Bennett and Michael Feinstein, record producer Ken Barnes, biographer Gary Giddins and writers Buz Kohan and Larry Grossman.
“Much like his talent, Bing Crosby is a natural for the series. With more No. 1 recordings than anyone, it is easy to overlook all of his other achievements. Thankfully, this film delves deeply into all of his remarkable work, and will surprise many viewers with a unique perspective on his private life,” says Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters.
American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered – The Soundtrack includes several previously unissued recordings of songs heard in the film, and is one of four new CD releases coming on November 25thfrom the Bing Crosby Archive and Universal Music Enterprises. Also coming,Bing Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook, a brand new compilation featuring familiar classics from Bing’s Decca catalog alongside rare previously unissued recordings. The album features the first ever CD release of the 2012 Michael Bublé – Bing Crosby duet of “White Christmas.” Expanded reissues of two classic Decca Crosby albums, Songs I Wish I Had Sung the First Time Around (Deluxe Edition) and Some Fine Old Chestnuts (60th Anniversary Deluxe Edition) also feature previously unissued recordings, as well as newly remastered versions of the albums taken directly from the original master tapes, which had been stored in the Crosby archive for decades.
Another White Christmas costar, Rosemary Clooney, also happened to be one of Bing Crosby’s closest friends. Crosby’s production company created and produced Rosemary’s CBS radio programs in the mid-1950s. On Clooney’s commercial recordings of the period, her talent was often awash in overly produced (and in the early days, gimmicky) middle-of-the-road material. But her personal taste tended more toward authentic compositions by America’s great songsmiths, and in a stripped-down setting, she could positively glow. Rosemary’s record producers might have reined her in with iron fists, but Bing Crosby let her record what she wanted to record for her radio shows. And those recordings appear – most for the first time since they were broadcast – on the new Mosaic Records five-CD, 104 track boxed set, The Rosemary Clooney CBS Radio Recordings 1955-61. With Bing’s frequent musical collaborators Buddy Cole and His Trio backing her, Clooney’s voice shines on compositions by Cole Porter, Billy Strayhorn, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, and George and Ira Gershwin. Plus music made famous by Joe Bushkin, Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington and more. The radio shows were a blank canvas for great songs and singing. The original session tapes from the Bing Crosby Archive have been restored and remastered to Mosaic’s exacting standards. The Rosemary Clooney CBS Radio Recordings 1955-61 is the perfect companion to Mosaic’s 2009 seven-CD release, The Bing Crosby CBS Radio Recordings 1954-61. Many of the tracks on these collections come from the same recording sessions. The duets from these sessions are available on the two-CD set, Bing & Rosie: The Crosby-Clooney Radio Duets from the Bing Crosby Archive / Universal Music Enterprises.
Because Rosemary Clooney was under contract to Columbia Records when Irving Berlin’s White Christmas was filmed, she did not appear on the Decca Records soundtrack album that featured Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, who both recorded for Decca. Instead, Columbia recorded an entirely different album of songs from the film with only Clooney. That eight song, 10” LP will be released as a fifteen song CD from Real Gone Music on November 4th. Rosemary Clooney: In Songs from the Paramount Pictures Production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (Expanded Edition) features the original album and seven bonus tracks from the Bing Crosby Archive – including a previously unissued Crosby – Clooney duet on “Silver Bells.”