When Bing Crosby came to Preston...

Back in 1977 the Old Groaner caused a stir when he arrived in Preston for his first concert in the town since the Second World War.

Monday, 14th September 2020, 3:45 pm
Bing Crosby live on stage at Preston Guild Hall
Bing Crosby live on stage at Preston Guild Hall

And it turned out to be one of his last ever concerts, for the singer died on October 14, 1977. The Preston concert took place on Thursday, September 22 at the Guild Hall, and also featured his wife Kathy, son Harry, Rosemary Clooney and English comic Ted Rogers. The singer not only conquered Preston that night - he carried 2,000 of its people away with him! He sang all, or part of 50 numbers - sometimes solo and on occasions with a little help from his "friends". His arrival in the town, at Preston railway station, was marred somewhat by his refusal to sign autographs, but his wife Kathy quickly explained that when the super star gave autographs it usually triggered off a riot. The legendary songster also took some time out to meet the Mayor of Preston Coun Joe Hood, who presented him with a golfing trophy to commemorate his Guild Hall concert. Ironically he had earlier said that his recent accident, where he fell off the stage into the orchestra pit, had impaired his golf swing. There will be many Preston people recalling the night that they were at the Guild Hall when Bing Crosby took it by storm. Let these pictures from the Lancashire Post archives take you back.

Bing Crosby arrives at Preston railway station with wife Kathy
Bing doesn't look too happy to be chatting with the press at Preston railway station

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Bing's wife Kathy chats to reporters at Preston railway station
Bing Crosby leaves Preston railway station with his son Harry
Did one lucky fan manage to get an autograph from the legendary singer? Anyone recognise the lady in question?
Before the concert Bing was presented with a golfing trophy by Mayor of Preston Coun. Joe Hood in recognition of his sell-out concert at the Guild Hall. Also pictured are Kathy Crosby, entertainments chief Vin Sumner and the Mayoress Mrs Enid Hood
The legendary Bing Crosby on stage at Preston Guild Hall
Fan Pam Satchwell presented Bing with a rose during his performance