Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on December 17, 2011
For many of us, Christmas jut wouldn’t be Christmas without the sound of Bing Crosby’s crooning brightening our homes as we decorate for the holidays. Bing’s name is almost synonymous with family Christmas celebrations, both for his records and Christmas films, not to mention his Christmas shows! But it is that last venue, his yearly Christmas shows, that brings us to his lovely wife Kathryn Crosby and her fabulous holiday dresses!
The annual Bing Crosby Christmas Show aired during the 1960s and 70s when he was often joined by his wife and children for a truly family-friendly Christmas program. His young wife Kathryn, along with their daughter Mary Frances and sons Harry and Nathaniel, were part of the much looked-forward to television broadcast.
To add to the festivity of the occasion, Kathryn and her daughter always wore matching mother-daughter outfits, which were usualy elegant floor-length gowns. These ensembles conveyed the holiday cheer with rich colors and luxurious fabrics, all the while maintaining a sense of prestige and modesty as “Mrs. Bing Crosby”.
In a 1972 magazine interview, Kathryn Crosby and her wardrobe were described in this way:
“Kathryn Crosby is, at age 37, a fashion plate who wears only Jean Louis custom-made clothes, but fashion isn’t her only interest. ‘Bing likes just below-the-knee hemlines – period,’ says his wife, the former Texas-bred actress, Kathryn Grant, a Methodist-turned-Catholic who describes Bing as ‘a former priest who got married.’ ‘My husband wants our daughter, Mary Frances, to wear below-the-knee skirts, too…‘”
I do wonder why he appeared in so many Hollywood movies if he really held this conviction about dressing modestly, but perhaps it was just a “later-in-life” principle he adopted – after all, Bing was old enough to be a grandfather by the time he raised this family!
Bing Crosby had first met Kathryn Grant during the filming of the movie “White Christmas” in 1954, where she was helping with the wardrobe department during her interim between film jobs. This vivacious brunette with the soft Texan accent was over 30 years his junior! But despite the vast age difference and the subsequent teasing they endured for it, the couple were married in 1957 in what I assume was not a vastly publicized wedding, as there are no remaining photographs of the occasion.
Together they had a happy family and a marriage that lasted for twenty years until Bing’s death in 1977. And while his family will never be the same without him, the musical legacy he left behind continues to delight his listeners all over the world. What better time to turn on some old Bing Crosby music than during Christmas?
(P.S. Yes, I am still going to post pictures of my red 1950s Christmas dress, but my photographer has been 3,000 miles away and just got back to town – you can be sure I’ll have him snap photos just as soon as he recovers from jet leg!) : )
Happy Holiday Sewing!