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Bing Crosby: As Popular As Quintuplet Diapers

Photo of Bing Crosby

How popular was crooner Bing Crosby in his day? See this awesome 1937 shot from the Library of Congress archives. The caption:

Joseph’s coat of many colors had nothing on this unique quilt which is now being completed by Mrs. Ethel Sampson of Evanston, Ill., after six years of collecting. Parts of wearing apparel from President [Franklin] Roosevelt, Mrs. [Eleanor] Roosevelt, members of the Cabinet, diplomats and notables from all over. From Hollywood Bing Crosby sent a tie while Mae West and Shirley Temple contributed parts of dresses. Former Emperor Haile Selassie’s neckties and a linen of Winsor [sic], are also included on the quilt. Diapers from the Dionne Quintuplets are also prominently displayed.

I can’t spot the diapers in this shot, or maybe I just don’t want to. But when you’re up there with Haile Selassie‘s neckties, you are On The Map.

A New Yorker report from the era said the quilt also held the necktie of Wrong-Way Corrigan and that Mrs. Sampson was “begging for something worn by General MacArthur.”

(Aside: Don’t be surprised by the ‘Yorker’s snarky tone in that bit. Wolcott Gibbs was the original blogger, or would have been had the Internet been there for him in the 1930s. He had a reputation to uphold. Gibbs is the guy who parodied Time magazine’s highbrow style with “Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.” The BBC says “Gibbs’s most outstanding characteristic was his taciturn rudeness” and calls him (blogger alert!) “versatile with a typewriter but awkward at socialising.”)

But back to Bing. Here’s a photo of him wishing he had a double chin.

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