Bing’s Muse for ‘White Christmas’ Was Gonzaga, Spokane
During the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak on campus, Bing Crosby and his older brothers attended Gonzaga High School and Gonzaga University as day students. Bing graduated from high school in 1920 and began to study law at the University. He was involved with many extracurricular activities, such as intramural basketball and football, drama and debate. After discovering that he enjoyed music more than law, Bing left in 1924 for Hollywood with his friend Al Rinker.
Throughout his life, Bing kept close ties to his alma mater and hometown while becoming a nationally recognized entertainer. Gonzaga gave him an honorary degree in 1937. He returned to Spokane numerous times to support charitable events. He invited Gonzaga athletic teams to visit him in Hollywood and asked the Gonzaga Glee Club to perform with him on the radio.
Over the years, Bing credited his success from his Gonzaga education and his childhood experiences. So, when you hear Bing singing “White Christmas,” you can rightfully imagine that he was remembering his time in Spokane and at Gonzaga.
Credits: For information about Bing Crosby and his recently released 7 CD set “The Bing Crosby CBS Radio Recordings 1954-56” which contains recordings never heard on record before, please visit: www.bingcrosby.com . Text and image provided by the Crosby Collection, Gonzaga University.