Man Who Would Be Bing
The Life Story of Michael Holliday
By Ken Crossland
332 pages, Illustrated, 6 ½" x 9 ½"
Michael Holliday was one of Britain's top singing stars of the 1950s. His voice
took him from the Merchant Navy to Butlins holiday camps and then, as 'Britain's
Bing Crosby,' to the very top of the show business tree. It was to be a brief
stay in the spotlight. Holliday's stardom last only eight turbulent years; starting
with his breakthrough on television in 1955 and ending with his suicide in 1963.
Michael Holliday's voice made his fortune. He enjoyed a string of hits, topping
the charts twice, with "The Story of My Life' and 'Starry Eyed.' He lived
in a mansion in the Surrey hills with his beautiful wife and young son, and
life seemed good. Even Bing Crosby went from being an idol to a friend. In
his compelling biography, Ken Crossland reveals that behind the iconic façade,
Holliday was suffering from inner turmoil.
He looked so relaxed on stage and television, with his trademark casual sweater
and homely rocking chair, but before every appearance he was a shivering wreck
who had to be virtually pushed onto the stage. He loved his wife but couldn't
resist the girls who came his way. By the early hours of the 29th of October,
1963, he had decided he could take no more. His marriage was in tatters, his
taxes unpaid, and he had convinced himself he was through. He took an overdose
and the morning headlines screamed: "Drugs Kill TV's Michael Holliday."
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