BootLeg Betty

Time Machine: March 14, 1977

“I hope it won’t be another 50 years before we can celebrate like this again,” joked a high-spirited Bing Crosby to the audience at Ambassador College in Pasadena, Calif.

Photo: Bette Singing Glow Worm 1977

The Old Showman was onstage with the likes of Bette Midler, Pearl Bailey, Paul Anka, Martha Raye and Rosemary Clooney to tape a March 20 CBS special honoring Bing’s 50th year in the business.

As he finished his bit, the 72-year-old singer tripped and tumbled at least six feet into the orchestra pit. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a cut on his head and bruise on his bottom, and was pronounced well enough to go home in two days.

Always the type to take a fall lightly, Crosby hummed some of the songs from his show while in the emergency room and felt fit enough to chat with Raye, who accompanied him to the hospital.

Quipped Bing about his fall: “This was part of the show. I didn’t get it right the first time. I’ll have to try again.” Move over, Chevy Chase.

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