Sunday, December 10, 2017

Christmas Countdown: David Bowie & Bing Crosby Sing 'The Little Drummer Boy (Peace On Earth)'

David Bowie and Bing Crosby perform "The Little Drummer Boy (Peace On Earth)." One of these guys was bisexual, the other once recorded a song called "Gay Love."

Bing Crosby had some success with another Christmas tune, "White Christmas." According to Guinness World Records, his recording of "White Christmas" has sold more than 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles. 

This Christmas song was recorded on September 11, 1977, for Crosby's then-upcoming television special, Bing Crosby's Merrie Olde Christmas. The pair exchanged scripted dialogue about what they each do for their family Christmases, before singing "Little Drummer Boy" with a new counterpoint with "Peace on Earth."

"The Little Drummer Boy" is a Christmas song written in 1941, while the "Peace on Earth" tune and lyrics were added to the song specially for Bowie and Crosby's recording.

The single saw commercial success upon its release in 1982 and peaked at number 3 on the UK Singles Chart. The single became one of David Bowie's best selling in his career, with total estimated sales over 400,000 in the UK alone.

The song has since become a Christmas classic in the United States and United Kingdom and has been referred to by the Washington Post as "one of the most successful duets in Christmas music history."

If you haven't guessed, Bowie was the bisexual of the two. Bowie actually declared himself gay in an interview with Michael Watts for a 1972 issue of Melody Maker, coinciding with his campaign for stardom as Ziggy Stardust. According to Buckley, "If Ziggy confused both his creator and his audience, a big part of that confusion centred on the topic of sexuality". In a September 1976 interview with Playboy, Bowie said, "It's true—I am a bisexual. But I can't deny that I've used that fact very well. I suppose it's the best thing that ever happened to me". According to his first wife, Angie, Bowie had a relationship with Mick Jagger.

By all accounts, Bing was not blessed with any redeeming LGBTQ traits at all.

1 comment:

Raybeard said...

This video crops up over here every year in visual compilations of Xmas songs - but must admit I find it terribly embarrassing to watch, with Bing nearing his life's end and, it's said, wasn't at all sure who this Bowie fella was. Meantime, with Bowie trying and failing with his non-returned pleading looks to get some acknowledgment of his presence from Bing, it seems like an ill-matched pair brought together because someone thought "Wow! That's a good idea - chalk and cheese!" It could have worked, but I think it better to listen to than to watch. (The 'Washington Post' is right if 'successful' = profitable.)

Yes, after Bing's departure all sorts of stories surfaced, damaging the kind, fatherly reputation most of us held of him while he was alive - something which has become the 'norm' since those days.