So Many Reasons to Love Him...
I am infatuated with Bobby Darin. I admit it. He charms my socks right off. I fell in love with his voice as a kid, long before I ever watched clips of him preforming or even knew his name. And then I saw him, watched him perform, saw his films and, what can I say?.... I fell hard and have been a die hard fan ever since. Had I grown up in the 50's and 60's, I would have certainly had his picture on my bedroom wall, probably right next to Paul Newman and Steve McQueen.
A friend of mine feels the same way about Elvis. She said that when she watched Elvis sing, it was like he was singing right to her. And that's exactly what it's like for me when I watch Bobby. Wow. I mean, the man had an ability that few possess, apart from Elvis of course... making you feel as if you are the only one in the room with him, like he has singled you out specifically to sing to and he wrote it all just for you and he's laughing and cracking jokes just to get you to smile.
Ahhhh....I can see why Sandra Dee fell for him.
Preforming 'Beyond the Sea' in 1960
Darin was a big supporter of Robert Kennedy and his Democratic presidential campaign and was actually present at the Los Angeles hotel, The Ambassador, that fateful day in June when RFK was assassinated.
Grew up believing his grandparents, who had raised him, were his parents and did not learn until 1968 that the girl he'd thought to be his sister was actually his mother.
Mentored Wayne Newton and gave him the song Danke Schoen.
Was the Ambassador for the Heart Fund for the American Heart Association.
After his bought with rheumatic fever as a child, Bobby suffered heart problems that he knew would shorten his life. This knowledge is what led him to work so hard at using his talents at an early age.
Dated Connie Francis while he was composing for her. She has said that not marrying Bobby was the biggest mistake of her life.
Biography of an Idol
Bobby Darin was born Walden Robert Cassotto on May 14th, 1936. Raised in New York by his grandparents, in neighborhoods like Harlem and the Bronx, Darin fought to overcome poverty and a heart condition brought on by a bought with rheumatic fever he'd had in his childhood.
After a brief stint in college (one year at Hunter College), Bobby began writing and recording demos for future stars such as Connie Francis. In 1958, he recorded his own hit, the first of many- Splish Splash.
The album he released the following year, That's All, won the Record of the Year and Best New Artist Grammys and contained such hits as; Mack the Knife and Beyond the Sea.
During this successful time in the 1950s and 60's, Bobby set records preforming at the Copacabana club in Manhattan and also became a regular headliner at many of the casinos of Las Vegas. He continued preforming, often to standing room only crowds, until 1973-the year of his death. He also took a turn singing and writing country music for a bit and had a few hits like 18 Yellow Roses and You're the Reason I'm Leaving.
In the late 60's, early 70's Bobby delved into yet another new area of music and began singing and recording folk music. His version of If I Were a Carpenter was quite successful and followed by a brief stint writing and preforming alternative rock protest music after the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
Blessed with a wonderful stage presence that could captivate any audience, Darin even had his own variety show, The Bobby Darin Amusement Company on NBC, that ran from 1972 until his death a year later. He also appeared on many other TV shows throughout the years, including The Andy Willliams Show which he was featured on several times and the Red Skelton Show.
Bobby's humor and charming nature helped propel his preforming and singing career to superstar heights. He has been called a "legend by the age of 23" and was more than successful in his musical career. He also had a quite successful film career as well, starring in a string of romantic comedies with the woman who became his wife, Sandra Dee.
He and Sandra were married from 1960 to 1967 and had one child, a son named Dodd.
Sadly, Bobby died on December 20th, 1973 following open heart surgery for complications stemming from his childhood illness. He was only 37 when he passed but had accomplished so much and left behind a legacy that endures today.
A little insight into Bobby's intense drive?
Along with the many albums and compilations that have been released after his death, Bobby also released 28 albums himself. He is also featured on several soundtracks and continues to be even now. He sang the title track to several of his movies, as well, as was a common practice for many stars of the era. His music-from jazz, folk and pop to showtunes, country and rock- shows the true range and versatility of this iconic talent.
Mack the Knife, Beyond the Sea
This is Darin
Darin at the Copa
Love For Sale, Dream Lover, I Got a Woman
For Teenagers Only
The 25th Day of December
Silent Night, Holy Night, Christmas Auld Lang Syne
Twist With Bobby Darin
Two of a Kind: w/ Johnny Mercer
Two of a Kind, Ace in the Hole, Indiana
Bobby Darin Sings Ray Charles
What'd I Say, I Got a Woman
Things and Other Things
Oh! Look at Me Now
You're The Reason I'm Living
18 Yellow roses
It's You or No One
18 Yellow Roses and 11 Other Hits
Hello Dolly to Goodbye Charlie
I Wanna Be Around
Bobby Darin Sings The Shadow of Your Smile
In a Broadway Bag
If I Were a Carpenter
If I Were a Carpenter, The Girl Who Stood Beside Me
Bobby Darin Sings Dr. Doolittle
Live! At the Desert Inn
Fire and Rain, Beyond the Sea, If I Were a Carpenter
Once in a Lifetime
Awards, Accolades and Acheivements
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.
Inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1999.
His life was the Subject of a PBS Documentary, Beyond the Song and of a motion picture, Beyond the Sea, starring Kevin Spacey.
Won 2 Golden Globes. One for New Star of the Year - Actor in 1962 for his performance in Come September and the other for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama for his role in Pressure Point and was nominated for three others.
Nominated for an Academy Award in 1963 for his portrayal of a soldier in Captain Newman, M.D. and won the French Film Critics Award for best actor at the Cannes Film Festival.
Awarded four Gold Records for Mack the Knife, Dream Lover, Queen of the Hop and Splish Splash.
Won 2 Grammy's and was nominated for two others.
Was nominated for an Oscar in 1964.
Got a Star on the Walk of Fame in 1982.
While his music has been featured in many, many films to this day, Darrin was also a talented actor in his own right, bringing his charm and charisma to the big screen.
Pepe - 1960 as himself with Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby and Maurice Chevalier
Come September - 1961 as "Tony" with Rock Hudson, Gina Lollabridgida and Sandra Dee
Too Late Blues - 1961 as "John 'Ghost' Wakefield" with Stella Stevens
State Fair - 1962 as "Jerry Dundee" with Pat Boone and Ann-Margret
Hell is for Heroes - 1962 as "Pvt. Corby" with Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Bob Newhart
If a Man Answers - 1962 as "Eugene Wright" with Sandra Dee, Stephanie Powers and Cesar Romero
Pressure Point - 1962 as "patient" with Sidney Poitier and Peter Falk
Captain Newman, M.D. - 1963 as "Corp. Jim Tompkins" with Gregory Peck, Angie Dickinson and Tony Curtis
That Funny Feeling - 1965 as "Tom Milford" with Sandra Dee and Donald O'Connor
Gunfight in Abilene - 1967 as "Cal Wayne" with Leslie Nielsen
Cop-Out - 1967 as "Barney Teale" with James Mason
The Happy Ending - 1969 as "Franco" with John Forsythe, Shirley Jones and Lloyd Bridges
Happy Mother's Day, Love George (AKA Run Stranger Run) - 1973 as "Eddie" with Cloris Leachman and Ron Howard
In this unfinished documentary from 1966, you can see some of Bobby's intense talent and drive.
Bobby Darin 1937-1973
Bobby Darin could act, sing, dance, play the piano, guitar and drums and was an incredible performer. He knew from an early age that his life would someday be cut short and so he worked with a ferocious drive to share his talent-the gift of his voice-with the world.
Another talent that left us far too soon.
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