Maine Country Music Hall of Fame


AUGUSTA – Clarendon “Bing” Crosby, a Jay native, is one of four musicians nominated this year for induction into the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will be held May 13 at LeClub Calumet in Augusta.

Crosby started his music career at age 8. His grandmother gave him his first guitar when he was 10, and he joined his first band, the Pine Ridge Mountain Boys, at age 16. While in the army stationed in Japan, he continued with his music, playing at military bases and at USO shows. His group opened shows for Eddie Fisher and Hank Snow.

After serving in the military, he joined the Pine Ridge Mountain Boys once again and did live shows on several radio and TV stations. Through the years, he formed several bands of his own, playing engagements in and around Franklin and Androscoggin counties. In the early 1990s when his last group disbanded, he and some friends started playing together under the name of Bing Crosby & Friends, they sponsored a dance for a scholarship fund for a friend and raised more than $15,000 over the years.

Crosby has become very active in Maine Country Music Association and has hosted many benefits for MCMA with proceeds going toward building a Maine Country Music Hall of Fame Building/Museum.

In recent years his wife, Nancy, has learned to play bass guitar and doing vocals. They perform as “The Crosby’s” at nursing homes, senior citizen centers and other places they are called to. They have recorded four CDs and have performed on several TV shows.

The other nominees are Ted Conley, now deceased, from the Bangor area, a musician/singer who toured throughout Maine; Gloria Jean of Scarborough, a musician/singer who has been performing for more than 40 years. Sharlene Hooper of Orono, daughter of Gene and Flo Hooper who are both members of the Maine Country Music Hall of Fame. A musician and singer, she was the 1985 winner of the Wrangler Jean’s Country Star Search Contest, representing the state of Maine.

Members of the Maine Country Music Association nominate four people each year and vote to induct two into the Hall of Fame.

There will be a dinner at noon and the ceremony/show will start at 1 p.m. Cost for the meal and show is $22 for adults (14 and up) and $14 for children ages 7 to 13; (advance ticket only for dinner/show). Cost for the show only is $10 for adults 14 years and up with tickets only available at the door. Children under 14 are admitted to the show for free. For more information, call Crosby at (207) 645-2472.