The Toking Crooner / Hollywood's Cannabis Pioneers

9 months ago

Bing Crosby, the "Toking Crooner" was born "Harry Lillis Crosby" 116 years ago in Tacoma, Washington on May 3, 1903. He was one of seven children in an extremely poor family that loved to sing, he was sent to vocal lessons early by his mother, until he grew tired of classical training.

Bing, the singer, the comedian, the actor and the first multimedia star, was a leader in record sales, radio ratings, and motion picture grosses from 1931 to 1954. Bing, who dominated American pop-culture for most of the 20th Century, was already an avid #Toker by the time he teamed up with "Bob Hope".

Ever wonder how music legend Bing crafted his cool persona as a crooner? The Oscar's winner for playing a priest in "Going My Way", loved his buds and according to his son Gary, his mellow demeanor might have been inspired by smoking #Weed, he picked up his suave style from smoking #Marijuana as a young jazz singer in the 1920s and 30s, before #Cannabis became federally prohibited.

Bing Crosby (May 3, 1903 – Oct 14, 1977)

A Pocketful of Dreams

Bing got his start singing jazz during the 1920’s, and in the "Crosby biography A Pocketful of Dreams", the author "Gary Giddins" claims that Bing started puffing cannabis after hanging out with "Louis Armstrong".

The ganja-loving Armstrong eventually appeared in several movies with Bing, and on many of his radio and TV shows. They shared a hit single in 1951 "Gone Fishin" and teamed up for the classic album "Bing & Satchmo" in 1960.

A "A Pocketful of Dreams" also quotes Bing’s eldest son, Gary, describing how his father told him he should just smoke pot instead of over-drinking. Gary even claims that pot had an effect on his father’s casual musical and theatrical style, Gary said:

If you look at the way he sang and the way he walked and talked, you could make a pretty good case for somebody who was loaded. He’d get a smile on his face. He’d kind of think about it and there’d be that little smile.

If you believe that Gary and I are wrong, take a look at the below clip and be you the judge!

"High Society" (1956)

The Smokey Bing

In his book, "Good Medicine, Great Sex / How Marijuana Brought Me Creativity", the author "David Ford" recounts the time he interviewed Bing in 1962. After the formal interview was over, Ford asked Bing if at home he might put a little weed in his famous pipe. Ford wrote:

He looked me right in the eyes and rewarded me with a generous grin and a wink... I’ve had various musicians tell me that in fact he smoked a lot of pot, and that it did keep him mellow.

Bing said to his son Gary one time when he was really mad, ranting and raving about his son's heavy drinking:

Oh, that fucking booze. It killed your mother [Dixie Lee]. Why don't you just smoke shit?

Although Bing was reluctant to publicly admit whether he continued to use cannabis, he wasn’t shy about telling the media he thought it should be legal. In numerous interviews during the 1960s and 70s, he forthrightly said the herb should be at least decriminalized.


The Bing Museum

In 1913, his father built a house on the campus of his alma mater, Gonzaga University. It becomes today as a "Museum" with over 200 artifacts from his life and career, including his Oscar.

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< References & Photos >
A Pocketful of Dreams / Wikipedia / Veryimportantpotheads

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Wow. Bing toked? Awesome post.


Thanks, Bing & Bong !

What a funny story when someone told you why drinking a lot and it's better to just smoke... Yes agree.. Because smoking is from herbs while drinking liquors is from alcohol which is not necessary to our body.