In 1910 Crosby was forever renamed. The six-year-old Harry Lillis Crosby discovered a full page feature in the Sunday edition of Spokesman-Review, The Bingville Bugle. The Bugle,
written by humorist Newton Newkirk, was a parody of a hillbilly
newsletter complete with gossipy tidbits, minstrel quips, creative
spelling and mock ads. A neighbor, 15-year-old Valentine Hobart, shared
Crosby's enthusiasm for The Bugle.
Noting Crosby's laugh, she took a liking to him and called him Bingo
from Bingville. The last vowel was dropped and the name shortened to
Bing, which stuck.
In 1917 Crosby took a summer job as property boy at Spokane's
"Auditorium" where he witnessed some of the finest acts of the day,
including a blackface performer named Al Jolson who spellbound Crosby
with his ad-libbing and spoofs of Hawaiian songs that brought down the
house. Crosby would later say that, "To me, he was the greatest
entertainer who ever lived."
Bing enrolled in Gonzaga College in the fall of 1920 with the intent
to become a lawyer. While in Gonzaga he sent away for a set of mail
order drums. After much practice he soon became good enough and was
invited to join a local band called the "Musicaladers"which was mostly
made up of local high school kids. He made so much money doing this he
decided to drop out of school during his final year, to pursue a career
in show business.
Link (here) to Gonzaga University