Big Crosby is often called “The Voice of Christmas,” with the biggest hit of his career being his 1942 recording of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”
According to Guinness World Records, the song has sold 50 million copies around the world. So this seemed like a great week to bring you Crosby’s childhood home in Spokane, Washington.
The Crosby family moved to Spokane when Bing was three years old. Before having this house built in 1913, they lived in a nearby rental for seven years.
Henry Lillis (Bing) was born in Tacoma, Washington, May 3, 1903. The fourth of seven children, he got his famed nickname after one of his friends started calling him “Bingo” from a local newspaper comic strip. It was shortened to Bing, and soon everyone but his mother, Catherine, called him that.
He had an amazingly interesting life filled with all kinds of achievements and interests in various areas. We wound up reading about him for about an hour, but we’ll keep it short so you can continue your holiday scramble.
Crosby made his theater debut at Spokane’s North Central High School. He went on to record some 1,600 songs and made more than 70 feature films. He earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1963.
Also a baseball fan and player — he played college ball when he attended Gonzaga University — he was co-owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates when they won the 1971 World Series.
His childhood home now serves as a museum Gonzaga campus. Inside, you’ll find more than 200 Crosby items, including gold records, trophies, awards and his Oscar for “Going My Way” (1944).