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David and Bing: A Bipartisan Christmas Carol

I watched a documentary on Bing Crosby the other night, “American Masters” on PBS, and it was really interesting. As a child in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Bing Crosby’s music and television specials plays in the background of my memories, not only at Christmas, but the memories of his voice are sharp and clear when it comes this time of year. I know I’m not unique in that experience. And his duet with David Bowie, the Christmas carol “The Little Drummer Boy”, has proved to be a clear favorite in the past 40 years since it was released.             David Bowie didn’t really want to go on Bing Crosby’s Christmas special. It was kind of hokey, and old-fashioned, with its production numbers and canned studio applause. But David Bowie’s mother loved Bing Crosby. And like the saying around our house goes, “You do for family.” So Bowie agreed to perform on the Crosby Christmas special. But then they asked him to sing “The Little Drummer Boy” and that was just too much. Wasn…

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