ADA JONES: Ada Jones (1873–1922) was an extremely popular singer who recorded between 1905 up until early 1922, just months before she passed away.
Born in the United Kingdom, her family moved to Philadelphia in 1879. She started performing on stage, but moved to recording in 1904-1905, lending her strong contralto first to Edison Cylinders, and also recording for Victor and Columbia also. She is easily the most popular female singer of the pre-1920 era.
She recorded several duets with Billy Murray and Len Spencer. The duets with Murray were often light-hearted and conversational, the two singing to the other, often in the voices of characters with accents and dialects. The appeal of the recordings made Ada and Billy perhaps the most popular female-male in recording history so far.
BILLY MURRAY (1877-1954) was one of the most popular singers in the U.S. in the early decades of the 20th century. He received star billing on vaudeville and is best known for his prolific work in the recording studio for almost every record label of the era.
He was probably the best selling recording artist through 1925. He had a strong tenor voice with excellent enunciation and a more conversational delivery than bel canto singers of the era. On comic songs he often deliberately sang flat, which he felt helped the comic effect.
Murray was a huge baseball fan and played with the New York Highlanders (later Yankees) in exhibition games. He was known to call in sick to recording sessions to go to the ballpark.
Murray's popularity faded with the rise of the electric microphone in the mid 1920s. His "hammering" style (essentially yelling the song into the recording horn) did not work in the electronic era, and it took him time to learn to soften his voice.
While he continued to work, his singing style was considered "dated" and less in demand. In the late 1920s and early 1930s he did voices for animated cartoons, especially "follow the bouncing ball" types which incorporated songs from his salad days.
Murray made his last recordings in 1943 and retired to Freeport, Long Island, New York in 1944. He died in nearby Jones Beach.
BING CROSBY: To be honest, if you don't know who Bing Crosby is - there are better places to find detailed information about his amazing and varied career than this page (and p.s., I'm also ashamed of you - you call yourself a music lover).
One of the first multi-media stars, from 1934 to 1954, Bing Crosby held an unrivaled command of record sales, radio ratings and motion picture grosses. He is usually considered one of the most popular musical acts in history and is currently the most electronically recorded human voice in history.
Crosby is credited as being the major inspiration for most male singers that followed, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Dean Martin. "Yank" magazine recognized Crosby as the person who did the most for G.I. morale during World War II and, during his peak years, polls declared him the "most admired man alive" ahead of Jackie Robinson and the Pope.
In 1948, Music Digest estimated that Crosby recordings filled more than half of the 80,000 weekly hours allocated to recorded radio music.
Crosby also exerted a massive influence on the development of the postwar recording industry. In 1947, he invested $50,000 in the Ampex company, which developed the world's first commercial reel-to-reel tape recorder, and Crosby became the first performer to prerecord his radio shows and master his commercial recordings on magnetic tape.
He gave one of the first Ampex Model 200 recorders to his friend, musician Les Paul, which led directly to Paul's invention of multitrack recording. Along with Frank Sinatra, he was one of the principal backers behind the famous United Western Recorders studio complex in Los Angeles.
Check Wikipedia.org for more information. Elvis was a poor second to Crosby when it came to being the biggest performer of the 20th Century.