Also, more importantly to this blog, Crosby sang a song titled San Fernando Valley, which was written by Gordon Jenkins. According to the America's Suburb blog by Kevin Roderick:
The tune "San Fernando Valley" was written by Gordon Jenkins and appeared, sung by Roy Rogers, in the 1943 Republic Pictures western by the same name. It was Bing Crosby's rendition, however, that enticed war-weary GI's with the promise of a mythical place. "San Fernando Valley" hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart on April 29, 1944.
Jenkins, who lived in Sherman Oaks, never felt the song was one of his best. He was a composer-arranger-conductor who wrote for popular orchestra leader Benny Goodman. Jenkins later became the musical director at Decca Records. After moving to Capitol Records he worked with Frank Sinatra and did the arrangement for Nat King Cole's "When I Fall in Love."
Before his death in 1984, at age 73, Jenkins expressed wonder that "San Fernando Valley" had any tug at all on the World War II generation. The lyrics never actually say anything positive about the Valley, except that the singer yearns to go there. Of course, it helps when the singer is the most popular crooner of his day.
Here is the video for the San Fernando Valley song:Once the war ended, about a year after the song reached No. 1, plenty of Americans took Bing's advice and took a trip to California to make the Valley their home.
Bing Crosby Estate, circa 1936. This approximately 2 acre compound sits behind totally private grounds w/ 2 electric gates & full circular driveway. Exquisitely appointed. Approx 7200 sq ft, Southern Colonial Mansion. This Majestic Masterpiece has sweeping foyer, 6 beds, 5.5baths, 5 FP's, & chef's gourmet kit. Large formal dine. Grande liv rm w/ marble FP. Billiard room & den w/ wet bar. Fabulous mstr suite w/ deluxe marble bath w/ steam shower, spa tub. Hardwood floors throughout. The manicured lawns, rose gardens, lush landscaping, and many fruit trees add to its beauty. Championship tennis court w/ gazebo & grand stands. Oversized swimming pool w/ separate inground spa & Italian FP w/ Viking BBQ. The cabana has 2.5 baths, 2 changing rms, steam shower & kitchen. Separate guest house w/ 2bedrms, 2 baths, full kitchen w/ top of the line appliances, living room & gym. This magnificent home boasts too many amenities. A must see for your most discriminating buyer.
Crosby did indeed live on this property in Toluca Lake (before he moved to his mansion on Mapleton Drive in Los Angeles’ Holmby Hills area, which was of course torn down to make way for Aaron and Candy Spelling’s monstrous 52,503-square-foot mansion, which now is on the market for a staggering $150,000,000), and he built the guts of what stands there now in 1936. However, the house burned down on January 3, 1943 from a fire that was caused by Christmas lights, of all things, and Crosby subsequently sold the estate and the charred remains of the house for $15,000. Our good friend E.J. tells us that other celebs who since have lived on the rebuilt estate have included Mickey Dolenz, Andy Griffith and Jerry Van Dyke. In fact, Griffith had owned it from the 1970s until the 1990s, and subsequent owner Van Dyke sold it for close to $1,930,000 in 1997 to the estate’s current owners, according to a December 1997 column by the Los Angeles Times’ Ruth Ryon. The current owners, who are big fans of Crosby, are not celebrities.
So I just have one question, who are the new owners of this historic estate?
You can find more San Fernando Valley Celebrity Real Estate here.