Album Cover Art Wednesday: The Bing Crosby Christmas Variations

Bing Crosby had a long and storied career as a recording artist. He was one of the first singers to understand that the microphone gave you the freedom to modulate your voice. Before Crosby, most singers sang as loudly as their vocal chords could stand it. As with most show biz pioneers, Crosby eventually joined the establishment and became known for his family Christmas specials. He was the man in the sweater, smoking a pipe, crooning carols with his kids, and, on one memorable occasion, with David Bowie.

I knew that there had been a lot of Crosby Christmas album re-releases over the years but was still surprised at how many images popped up when I asked Mr. Google. I probably should have gone to Bing but old habits are hard to break.  I guess Steve Basket Ballmer won’t let me play for the Clippers now.  Shouldn’t he own a Balmer sports franchise? Anyway, here are a few of the more amusing Crosby covers. The first cover is from a 1949 Decca release and it looks as if Der Bingle was impaled on Old Tannenbaum:


Below is the best known Crosby Christmas cover of all. The album was named for that famous song written by a nice Jewish boy, which gave us the enduring legend of a White Christmas instead of a snowy Hannukah. The song made both Berlin and Crosby a lot of gelt.


Dig that crazy bow tie. I’m surprised somebody in Brooklyn isn’t trying to sell those to the masses. Am I the only one who finds it odd that bow ties are now cool instead of dorky? It makes me want to run away to the Dorkin Circus…

Here’s Bing giving his toupee a rest by wearing a fishing hat on this cover. I wonder what his angle was, if anyone knows, please pipe up:


Next up is the cover for the single released to document the Crosby-Bowie generational summit meeting in 1974. It’s just a pity that they chose The Little Drummer Boy, which is to holiday songs what fruitcake is to holiday foods: indigestible and nasty. Sorry, A.


Finally, here’s a YouTube playlist of White Christmas with yet another cover. Der Bingle knew how to milk a cash cow, y’all: