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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 21 No. 47
Tuesday December 20, 2022

White Christmas Is 80

John Scott Trotter, Ethel Merman and Bing Crosby

     It was Christmas 1942, 80 years ago Irving Berlin’s immortal song "White Christmas" debuted.
     John Scott Trotter (left), Ethel Merman, and Bing Crosby are pictured ready to do a radio show.
     John Scott arranged Bing’s rendition of “White Christmas,” which in 2022 is still the one or two best-selling musical recordings in the history of the world.
     Scott began playing piano with a school band that was formed at the University of North Carolina, where he wrote many of the arrangements.
     Scott and his partner Hal Kemp became famous almost overnight, playing aboard big, scheduled passenger ships crossing the Atlantic between New York and Southampton during the 1930s.
     The band, called The Hal Kemp Orchestra, was invited to play for Edward VIII— the year he was throwing a big party as the future King of England as he traveled from New York across the Atlantic. Later he renounced his throne “for the woman I love,” becoming the Duke of Windsor.
     At one point, the Prince, who fancied himself something of a musician (drums) joined the band; that simple gesture made headlines, and Hal and Scott became famous.
     John Scott wrote arrangements for many of the Kemp tunes. Some 700 were recorded, all at 78 rpm, before Hal’s untimely death in 1940, after which The Hal Kemp Orchestra was no more.
     John Scott kept on arranging music with Bing, who after White Christmas and the album of Christmas music that followed wouldn’t work without him. Up until the mid-1950s, Bing rarely allowed anyone else to arrange his music.
     The string of hit songs the duo created has never been matched.
     Bing Crosby said this about Trotter: “I'm not musically educated enough to really describe what he was in music terms. I just knew he was very good and he had marvelous taste,” der Bingle declared.
     Here is a celebration video of 80 years of “White Christmas".
     Scott delivered another arrangement featuring just Bing and guitarist genius Les Paul, that to me is Crosby's greatest recording ever, perfectly capturing our world in 1945 with all its hope and pathos.
     The tune written by Jules Styne and Sammy Chan is titled “It's Been A Long, Long Time".
     Merry Christmas!
     Happy Chanukah!
     May your days be merry and bright!

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 21 No. 44
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Vol. 21 No. 45
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Chuckles for November 29, 2022
2023 Trade Show Update
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Vol. 21 No. 46
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Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend

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