Legendary singer and movie star Bing Crosby was a stern man who knew what he wanted. But behind his 100+ albums, 32 Hollywood films, Best Actor Academy Award and White Christmas performances, he was a very harsh disciplinarian to his kids. Speaking to Barbara Walters in 1977 the singer revealed how he would not entertain any intolerance from his children.
Barbara asked: “How do you feel about young people living together [unmarried]?”
A shocked-looking Bing responded: “Without being married? I think it’s wrong. I sure do.”
Barbara went on: “Suppose one of your sons came home and said: ‘Dad, I’ve got this girl, we’ve been living together, do you mind if we share a room here in this house?'”
Bing raised his voice: “In my house? Not a chance! It wouldn’t happen in my family.”
The star was so against the notion he had already decided on the punishment his children would receive if they lived with a partner out of wedlock.
He revealed: “If one of them did that I wouldn’t speak to them ever again.”
Barbara asked: “If they came home you’d never speak to them again?”
Bing confirmed: “Aloha on a steel guitar! I was raised a Catholic and we believe in marriage. He doesn’t have to take her to bed to find out what kind of a woman he’s marrying.”
He was then given an alternative hypothetical situation from Barbara: “What about your daughter if she came home and said I’m having an affair.”
Bing replied coldly: “I would say you take your things and move where you’re having the affair.” He added he “wouldn’t talk to her” anymore.”
Bing confessed he “used to hit” his kids when they were young. He said: “I used to. I used to whack them pretty good [with] a hairbrush, oh sure. Up until the time they’re ten or 12 – otherwise, they hit you back.” He added: “But you don’t have to do that, they seem to feel bad when they do something wrong.”
Despite his comments on seeing his children live with their partners unmarried, he was not too worried about them doing drugs.
Bing was asked how he would react if his kids were smoking cannabis. He responded: “I don’t think that’s any big sin. Unless they abused it and got on it continuously.” He added: “I think it should be legalised. I think it would probably do away with a lot of this smuggling and gangster business. I don’t suppose smoking marijuana hurts any worse than being an alcoholic, does it? Probably not as much.”