Rob Palmer
Rob Palmer

The latest in the Cabaret in the Day series at Mosman Art Gallery was Of Bing I Sing , saluting Bing Crosby (1903 -1977 ) , the legendary 20th century American crooner and movie star.

Recording more than 1700 songs, Crosby’s distinctive warm bass-baritone voice made him the best-selling recording artist of the 20th century, having sold over one billion records, tapes, compact discs and digital downloads around the world.

Written and directed by Melvyn Morrow, it was presented as a dialogue between Glenn Amer ( ‘” the musical mastermind of Moss Vale ‘’) who has ‘’ the fingers of Liberace and the voice of Mario Lanza” and a collection of 378 78 format style recordings of Crosby, and Rob Palmer, star of Better Homes and Gardens and Dancing With the Stars.

Amer at the shiny black piano was dressed in a dapper suit , Palmer in front of a large black and silver mike was far more casual in a t-shirt and denim. Palmer was tanned and had a dazzling cheeky grin .Palmer had a long introductory monologue explaining how the two met.

The piece  was not really biographical per se rather a voyage of discovery through a collection of some of Crosby’s songs. Some facts were mentioned ( and statistics rattled off ) about his records and his 53 various movies ( especially the “Road” movies with Bob Hope ) . Crosby’s private life was briefly mentioned too..

Mostly however it was the songs… Palmer and Amer jumped around chronologically but we heard for example Blue Skies and You’ve Got Me Where You Want Me towards the start of the show and the catchy Alexander’s Ragtime Band which had everyone bopping along. They were followed by Play A Simple Melody.

We then heard Don’t Fence Me In and from 1948 Ghost Riders in the Sky. This was followed by the poignantly beautiful Toora loora Looral ( That’s an Irish lullaby ) and the extremely moving Galway Bay .

Amer then charismatically sang Danny Boy which led to a hot tango like Amor Amor Amor that the audience absolutely loved.

We then jumped to I Love Paris which segued into in the infectious toe-tapping In The Cool Cool Cool of the Evening ( from the 1951 film Here Comes the Groom ).

1944 was a big year for Crosby with at least three hits – I Love You , I’ll get By As Long as I Have You and the romantic ballad I’ll Be Seeing You.

Palmer talked about Crosby’s image as Mr Nice Guy – but was he ?( not according to one of his son’s books ..)
The led to a fiery ,seductive Latin- American style Temptation by Amer that sizzled and the audience absolutely adored .The mood then changed to True Love.

Palmer briefly talked about Crosby’s extremely successful career which led to a delightful most impressive medley by Amer of some of his other hits.
We then leapt to Love Thy Neighbour, followed by Would You Like To Swing On A Star and We’ve Only Just Begun.

Much was then made of I’m Dreaming of A White Christmas with the audience singing along . According to Guinness World Records, Crosby’s recording of “White Christmas” has “sold over 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles”

There was a hushed silence as we listened to Amer’s 78 copy of Crosby singing Accentuate The Positive on Amer’s portable gramophone. That led to the final song Now Is the Hour. The audience went wild and for an encore we had the exuberant Macamara’s Band with the audience singing and clapping along.

Melvyn Morrow then introduced Zach Selmes who performed a song or two to wet our appetite for his concert the next in the series Poisoning Pigeons in The Park.

Running time – just over 90 minutes (roughly) no interval

Of Bing I Sing , part of the Cabaret in the Day series , was at Mosman Art Gallery 16 October 2016