Philip L Crosby

Philip L Crosby

Philip Crosby, 69, Son of Bing Crosby

    **LOS ANGELES, Jan. 19— **Philip Crosby, one of Bing Crosby's sons from his first marriage and an entertainer in his own right, died last week at his home here. He was 69.

    He was found dead last Tuesday by his family, coroner's officials said. The cause was a heart attack, they said.

    Bing Crosby had three other sons from his marriage to the former jazz singer and actress Dixie Lee, who died in 1952: Gary, Lindsay and Dennis, Philip's twin brother. All have now died. The four brothers had mixed degrees of success in show business. In the late 1950's they teamed up as the Crosby Boys, a nightclub act, and performed in Las Vegas and elsewhere, including their father's television programs.

    Philip Crosby's subsequent show business career was brief. He made some recordings and had small parts in films like ''Robin and the Seven Hoods'' and ''None but the Brave.''

    He made sporadic stage appearances, and told People magazine in 1983 that his last gig was at an Elks Club party in Burbank. He had been married four times by then. Bing Crosby died in 1977 at 74. Lindsay Crosby committed suicide in 1989, and Dennis Crosby killed himself two years later. Gary Crosby died of complications of lung cancer in 1995.

    Philip Crosby is survived by his four children, Mary Elizabeth Crosby, Dixie Lee Crosby, Flip Crosby and Philip Crosby Jr.; and three half-siblings from his father's second marriage, to Kathryn Grant: Harry Crosby, Mary Frances Crosby and Nathaniel Crosby.

      Phillip Lang Crosby, born on July 13, 1934, was the twin of Dennis. His middle name was given in tribute to Bing’s close friend, guitarist Eddie Lang. Phillip’s first recording was the Decca two-side medley, A Crosby Christmas, on which the twins sang a duet, “The Snowman.” He attended college with Dennis at Washington State College at Pullman and was inducted into the Army on January 5, 1955.

      Before the formation of The Crosby Boys, the twins sang “The Jones Boy” on Bing’s Oldsmobile special of March 2, 1959. Gary’s early departure from the group did not deter the others, and the act recorded an album for their father’s Project Records label, which was distributed by MGM. The Crosby Boys had many successful nightclub bookings, and appeared often on television. After a guest spot on Sgt. Bilko, the group followed on two episodes of Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall and five episodes of The Ed Sullivan Show. They revealed a flair for dynamic harmonizing while blending with Bing on “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” on his Oldsmobile special on February 29, 1960 and also appeared on another Oldsmobile outing on October 5, 1960. In 1960 Phillip also recorded a rhythm & blues version of Bing’s classic, “Thanks,” which featured a cameo appearance by Bing approving at song’s end: “By George, I think he’s got it!”

      In 1961, Phillip’s affiliation with the Rat Pack began when the Crosby Boys appeared in Sergeants Three, and continued when he appeared solo in Robin and the Seven Hoods in 1964. In one scene he offers a chair to a startled Allen A. Dale, played by Bing. The Sinatra connection continued in 1965 with a role as Private Magee in None but the Brave. In 1964 Phillip appeared on the Bing Crosby production, Ben Casey (as would all his brothers). His final appearance with his father took place on The Hollywood Palace show of April 5, 1969 where they reprised songs which Bing had previously recorded with Gary. Phillip would later remark, “Dad was always there when we needed him.” Phillip gave his final performance at an Elk’s Club party in Burbank in 1983.

      Four-times divorced and having lost a teenaged son, Phillip died January 13, 2004. He was survived by two daughters and two sons.

        The four Crosby brothers-(L-R) Dennis, Gary, Lindsay and Phillip in 1959