Bing’s rendition has sold over 100 million copies around the world, with at least 50 million sales as singles. It was one of the the largest selling single in music history.
Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby Jr. (May 3, 1903 – October 14, 1977) was an American singer, comedian and actor. He was the first multimedia star, and made over seventy feature films and recorded more than 1,600 different songs. His singing style influenced many male singers who followed him, including Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Dick Haymes, Elvis Presley, and John Lennon. Crosby won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in Going My Way (1944), and was nominated for its sequel The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945) opposite Ingrid Bergman, becoming the first of six actors to be nominated twice for playing the same character. In 1963, Crosby received the first Grammy Global Achievement Award. He is one of 33 people to have three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – in the categories of motion pictures, radio, and audio recording.
Crosby influenced the development of the postwar recording industry. He became the first performer to pre-record his radio shows and master his commercial recordings onto magnetic tape. Through the medium of recording, he constructed his radio programs with the same directorial tools and craftsmanship (editing, retaking, rehearsal, time shifting) used in motion picture production, a practice that became an industry standard.