Crosby, Bing

Crosby, Bing: A twentieth-century American singer and actor.

For about a decade, the United States was enamored with three male singers. (Of course, you could argue this point, and your three would probably be as good as the three I’m going to present.)

But for the sake of discussion, let me say that this trio of crooners was:

Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Bing Crosby

They were very different men, and not just by having individual names, but by lifestyle. It was intriguing that for the first time in our history, Mr. Cole, a black man was included in the upper echelon of the singing triumvirate.

Bing Crosby was fascinating because he was known for comedies and light, romantic romps—and his famous baritone voice was relished by young and old alike. Matter of fact, to this day it is nearly impossible to envision a cozy seat by the fireplace at Christmas without hearing old Bing intone, “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”

Then out come the books:

  • Accusations that he was cruel, vindictive and even abusive to his children.
  • A womanizer.
  • And assertions that he may have had more in mind than snow when he sought a “White Christmas.”

You see, this syndrome was not invented by our 24-hour news cycle.

Throughout our history, we have loved to create heroes and extol the talent in a person so that we could turn around and expose dirty details to bring the elevated champion down a notch or two.

For instance, people insist that George Washington, the father of our country—the man who suffered at Valley Forge—who persevered to win us our freedom?

Tee-hee-hee: he had wooden teeth.

Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, who held our nation together through the Civil War?

Tee-tee-hee: he might just have slept in a bed with another man.

We are incorrigible children in search of information to feed our gossip frenzy.

It’s fine if it is truthful.

But if it is not, we are still willing to consider it, to tickle our fancy.

I don’t know whether there is a celebrity or a notable who has not suffered under this microscope of mangling.

But for me, I still hear a gentle man, smoking a pipe, singing “White Christmas,” cutting up with awfully silly jokes, with Bob Hope, while they’re On the Road to somewhere or another.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


Subscribe to Jonathan’s Weekly Podcast

Good News and Better News

 

Burgundy

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Burgundy: (n) a deep red color

I’ve spent much of my life wondering if I am focused or obsessive. It may be impossible to get an accurate meter from anyone else on the issue due to their prejudice. But let me let you decide.

When I was twelve years old I had a little singing group. We all ended up going to church camp together, and after several strategic “nags,” I was able to convince the counselor to allow us to sing an a capella number before vespers.

Now, the evening vespers time at this particular church camp was about a half-mile hike up a big hill.

I bring this into the conversation because I had decided that our singing group should dress up for the occasion in these new shirts we had purchased, which were deep burgundy in color, and made out of some sort of acetate that resembled velvet. They were also long-sleeved.

The day arrived for us to sing, and it was about 90 degrees outside, but by the time of vespers, it had gloriously cooled to 85.

My friends wanted to wear t-shirts and shorts, but I insisted that we maintain our plan and climb the huge hill in our burgundy, long-sleeved, unforgiving shirts.

Being the largest member of our group, I labored, I wheezed, I panted, and I perspired like a man on the gallows.

When I got to the top and it was time to sing, I spent the entire song wiping my face with my hand and dropping the moisture to the ground beneath me. (One of my buddies got so warm that he swooned. Fortunately, he was bolstered by the baritone.)

The other kids looked on with a combination of amusement and admiration. We finished our song and our tenor screamed aloud, “I can’t take it anymore!” and ripped his shirt off, casting it to the side, sitting with his naked top, much to the chagrin of a nearby counselor.

Needless to say, I received a lecture the following day, from several members of the staff, about appropriate attire for vespers.

To this day, I cannot see the color burgundy without breaking out into a cold sweat.

 

Donate ButtonThank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix 

 

 

Baritone

Baritone: (n) an adult male singing voice between tenor and bass.Dictionary B

In my teen years, I found myself caught up in the world of Southern Gospel music. This was brought about because the church I attended was feverishly interested in the medium.

Southern Gospel music is a collision of real gospel music, barbershop quartets, revivalism and a bit of show business (without admitting that you’re performing).

The quartet is usually male and is divided into four singing parts:

  • Bass: a voice that covers the deep root note of each chord
  • Lead: that’s the melody boy
  • High tenor: which generally speaking is an alto part, taken up an octave
  • And baritone. Nobody ever wanted to be baritone.

The baritone part was always considered a symbol of weakness. It was the part for those men who were not manly enough to perform very low notes, nor strong enough to carry the song’s melody, or high enough to dazzle the audience with tones in the clouds.

It was a standard joke. Whenever the baritone member of the group was introduced, the emcee would say, “Barely a tone passes from his lips.”

But here’s the interesting thing: most male speakers or singers are baritones. So as always, we take the common and we make it mediocre, causing the majority of the folks around us to feel inadequate, as we worship the handful who do the extremes and make the news.

Until we learn to take the people in our lives who are emotional, spiritual, mental and physical baritones and teach them to shine out the very best they can with what they’ve got, we will have a world of over-promoted tenors and basses … and jealous “barely-a-tones.”

 

Donate Button

Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

*******************
Don’t let another Christmas go by without purchasing Jonathan’s bestselling Christmas book!

Mr. Kringle’s Tales … 26 Stories ‘Til Christmas

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle's Tales...26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

Click here to read all about Mr. Kringle’s Tales…26 Stories Til Christmas! Only $5.99 plus $1.25 shipping and handling.

 

“The best Christmas stories I’ve ever read!”

From the toy shop to the manger, an advent calendar of Christmas stories, beginning on November 30th and ending on Christmas morning.

We need a good Christmas this year.

Mr. Kringle’s Tales will help you make it so.

Buy today.

"Buy