Being the sons of a world famous singer and actor certainly did take their toll on Bing's first four sons, Gary, Lindsay Phillip and Dennis. Their mother Dixie was an alcoholic, while their father was away most of the time whether on tour, making movies, or recording. In guilt, Bing lavished his boys with too much money and material things, while spending too little time with them. When he did spend time with them at all, it was on his horse ranch where he worked them hard in the hope of giving them strength and building their character. Part of the accepted discipline of the time was a good spanking and there were few of us in those days who escaped our just punishment.
In his 1953 autobiography Bing says that Dixie criticized him as too lenient with the kids:
There have been times when I couldn't tell whether I was Captain Bligh in a Hawaiian sport shirt or the cream puff of the world, for Dixie used to tell me that I was too lax, that I wasn't strict enough, and that I forgot our boys' transgressions too soon. She used to reproach me with, "You punish them; then ten minutes later you're taking them to a movie. That's bad. You should let the memory of their punishment linger so they'll remember it. (Call Me Lucky, 1953, p205-206)
The Crosby boys school life, meanwhile, was hell, with their schoolmates assuming that they were just spoiled royalty, to be shunned, or beaten up. Gary Crosby recalls how he had to learn to fight at at an early age, just to protect himself.
After the death of his wife Dixie, Bing married Kathryn Grant and had three children with her. Said Bing in a 1959 interview:
I guess I didn't do very well bringing my boys up. I think I failed them by giving them too much work and discipline, too much money and too little time and attention. But I did my best and so did their mother. I'm getting another chance with Tex (Harry Lillis Crosby Jr. age five months). And with Kathy (Grant) as help I'll do better. (Bing Crosby Tells of Struggle with Four Unruly Sons, by Joe Hyams, San Francisco Chronicle, March 27, 1959)
Last Edit: Nov 29, 2005 18:18:39 GMT -5 by neferetus