The Most Unlikely Duet Ever
We're so used to duets these days. Just about every classic pop singer has been teamed up with a contemporary artist to perform a duet, usually of an old hit by said pop singer. While the teaming of Bing Crosby and David Bowie may not have been the first time two such artists were thrown together, it was certainly the most unlikely.
I can only recount what I've heard about the pairing, but I think it may be pretty accurate. Word has it that the year was 1977 and, as was the practice back then, the old established act, Bing Crosby in this case, always had a special guest for the "kids." that's why David Bowie was there and it was his job to add a sense of "hip' to the show.
When Bowie was first approached about singing a duet with Crosby, he was all in, but when he found out that he was scheduled to sing "The Little Drummer Boy", Bowie balked big time and declared that he hated the song and that the only reason he agreed to do the show as because his mom loved Bing Crosby.
As it turns out, two songwriters associated with the show jumped to the rescue and in about an hour (or so the story goes) they had written Bowie's part of the song called "Peace on Earth." Bowie loved the song and the show was saved.
It's interesting to watch with today's sensibilities because time has really changed the whole tone of the duet. When the song first aired back in 1977, it was considered very ironic, but now, these many years later, both artists are gone and the song takes on a feeling and a message that it never had before.
Just in case you've ever wondered, according to Bing's kids, the two got along fine and had a mutual respect for one another.