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I'm going to be odd gal out here and go with Dean. (I know not even one of the choices, but he's Dean!)


Elvis was incredible to see in person.


Frank knew how to sell a song and craft a verse.


Bing helped spearhead audio and video tape development in addition to his wonderful phrasing and singing but his screen persona, meh.


But Dean, I could watch in movies and listen to sing until the cows come home.

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I like the others okay, but definitely Bing's the favorite....probably a major reason being that Bing represents the earliest period of the three. Sure they all were active for decades, but very roughly rounding it off, one could say Bing was the 1930's, Sinatra was the 1940's and Elvis was the 1950's.


And although there was lots of great music in the 40's & 50's the period Bing represents is probably my favorite for music.


And I like his movies more than I like Sinatra's or Elvis's.

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Great the opinions are so varied!

I loathe Bing, although he had a fantastic voice and even have a CD of his.


I love Frank and Elvis because I feel both had bucketloads of natural talent. I am often amazed at Sinatras acting and dancing talent....coming into it completely untrained! I think Elvis would have been better too, had he been given better challenges. They both worked hard to be the best they could.


Sadly, Frank's gorgeous voice crapped out early due to alcohol & drug use. And Frank's arrogance kind of ruins his persona for me. He was too power hungry and impressed by the wrong things, like gangsters. But I can still appreciate his immense talent.


Elvis strikes me as a truely unspoiled American boy who was just born with divine talent. His singing is average, but his phrasing injects huge emotional impact. I'm sure some arrogance crept into his life, but deep down he was a simple country boy. I never realized it until I visited his "mansion" Graceland, which turns out is fairly modest compared to todays McMansions.


Ann-Margret is the female counterpart to Elvis, which is why they are so electrifying together in Viva Las Vegas. These are performers who express their "inside" emotions on the "outside"....who doesn't connect with that?

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I enjoy them all (as singers) -- as actors all had their ups and downs.


Where musical quality is concerned, Sinatra probably had the most sustained career of the three. His forties Columbia recordings are brilliant (and have thankfully been rediscovered over the past 20 or so years, thanks to reissues), and at Capitol, he evolved into a more multifaceted artist and defined the album as an art form (from "In The Wee Small Hours" at one end to "Songs For Swingin' Lovers" at the other). It wasn't until the 1960s that his music declined a bit, though he still had his moments.


Crosby was hugely influential in establishing modern American pop singing, a more informal style compared to the stiffer vocalists of the 1920s. Bing's early 1930s records are adventurous, innovative (at times he worked with the Mills Brothers and Duke Ellington's orchestra; Crosby was quite popular with blacks in the '30s) and worth looking for. After signing with Decca in the mid-1930s, some of the edge to his voice disappeared and he became a more all-around singer with less interesting material . But when challenged, he could still deliver the goods (take his 1956 "Bing Sings Whilst Bregman Swings," where he successfully invades Sinatra's turf. (It's been said Frank was inspired to become a singer after seeing Bing perform at a Jersey City theater in 1932, although Sinatra approached his singing from a slightly different direction.)


Presley had a completely different upbringing than either Crosby or Sinatra, and it showed in his Sun recordings, where country, blues and pop merged into a new kind of music; they are every bit as revolutionary as Louis Armstrong's Hot Five sides. With his contract sold to RCA (if Ahmet Ertegun had a bit more money, Elvis might have gone to Atlantic, and musical history might have been changed), Elvis became more pop-oriented (he had long beena fan of Dean Martin) with an array of hits from 1956 to '58. He never completely abandoned his blues roots (his first post-Army album, "Elvis Is Back!" is proof, but it wasn't until his late '60s comeback that he again became artistically inspired. He found a niche in the early '70s, and rarely ventured out of it until his death. (I don't know if Presley listened to much Crosby, but on Bing's 1931 record "Out Of Nowhere," you can hear a pre-Elvislike passage or two.)


All three brought so much to American music, and their legacies will long remain.

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I never did care much for Bing. Oh, he was good all right, and I enjoyed some of his movies and a few of his recordings, especially most of his Christmas music.


Frank, I like a lot. Most of his movies are darn good, and even some of those that are not, are still fun to watch. In the roles he played and was most suited for, he was good. His music is, for the most part, some of the finest music ever. For his style, he was the best.


Elvis is my all-time favorite. Musically. For my ears, he was unequaled for voice quality and range. His style, the way he performed a song was the best. No one else can come close. It's interesting that Elvis is often pitted against and compared to musical performers of decades before him, performers from his own era and performers of decades after him. He is considered a product of the '50s, but yet compared to the likes of Crosby, Sinatra, Pat Boone, Chuck Berry, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson and others. I fully understand this is not what this thread is about. I bring it up because he has been the only one to inspire that kind of controversy.


Elvis' movies? I like a half dozen or so of them.


Hey VP19, that album you mentioned, "Elvis Is Back" 1960 is a good example. Side 1, track 1, "Reconsider Baby" is one of my all time favorites.


Dean Martin? Great! He's in a class by himself.



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Here's an interesting twist to the original question....


Do any of you prefer one performer over another in one era, but change your preference in another era?


For instance, it's possible to prefer the 1940's "Road Picture/Holiday Inn" Crosby over the skinny, bow-tied 1940's Sinatra, but then turn around and prefer the swingin' 1960's "Rat Pack" Sinatra over the older, more conservative 1960's Crosby who by that time was mainly appearing on TV with his wife and kids.


Elvis had at least two different personas too....the hot, gyrating 1950's rock & roller and the heavier, white-suited 1970's Vegas performer. One might prefer one era's Elvis much more than another.


So does anyone here categorize these celebrities into different eras and then rate them accordingly....and do those ratings differ greatly from era to era?

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As a singer, Sinatra, in all his incarnations, over Bing. The '40s bobby-sox idol, the '50s Capitol years, the later Reprise sides. I can do without his ring-a-ding ding persona, though. As an actor, Bing gave a performance in THE COUNTRY GIRL better than anything Sinatra ever did, but he never approached that level at any other time. Sinatra was very good in several movies("Golden Arm""Suddenly", etc.) Elvis lagged both of them as both a singer and actor.

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MGMMayer, I like your twist on it. Taking them solely for movie performances, I would agree with you also, at least regarding two of them.


Bing was clearly better, and I liked him better, in the 30's and 40's. By the late 40's and through the 60s, I'd say Frankie had more movies of interest to me. Elvis never interested me much, however, but I would agree his better films were in the later 50's and 60's.

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