70th Anniversary: Bing Back At #1
On this day 70 years ago, fresh from starring alongside Dorothy Lamour in the Paramount Pictures film ‘Dixie,’ Bing Crosby was back at the top of the charts with a song featured in the film: ‘Sunday, Monday or Always.’ A popular song covered by many different artists – Frank Sinatra’s 1943 competing version most famously – ‘Sunday, Monday or Always’ would keep Crosby at #1 for over seven weeks.
Of note, besides Crosby’s crystal clear bass-baritone, is the lack of any instrumental backing on the song. This absence of accompaniment on ‘Sunday, Monday or Always’ and on several other big hits of the season such as The Song Spinners’ ‘Coming In On A Wing And A Prayer’ and Dick Haymes’ ‘You’ll Never Know’ was due to the ongoing American Federation of Musicians’ Strike of 1942 – 1944. Already a year old by the fall of 1943 and, with no members of the musicians’ union willing to have their performances recorded, record companies more and more turned to vocal groups to provide the backup role normally held by orchestras.
Despite the urging of President Roosevelt, the musicians’ strike would continue until November, 1944; an unforeseen consequence of which was the beginning of the decline of the Big Band style.
Click below to hear Bing Crosby’s original 1943 hit recording of ‘Sunday, Monday Or Always.’
Post by Collin Makamson, Family Programs & Outreach Coordinator @ The National WWII Museum