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Bobby Darin

There's been considerable discussion about whether Bobby Darin should be classified as a rock & roll singer, a Vegas hipster cat, an interpreter of popular standards, or even a folk-rocker. He was all of these and none of these. Throughout his career he made a point of not becoming committed to any one style at the exclusion of others; at the height of his nightclub fame he incorporated a folk set into his act. When it appeared he could have gone on indefinitely as a sort of junior version of Frank Sinatra, he would periodically record pop/rock and folk-rock singles whose principal appeal lay outside of the adult pop market. At one point he started calling himself Bob Darin and recorded songs with vague anti-establishment overtones that could be said to be biting the largely bourgeois hands that fed his highest-paying gigs. It may be most accurate to say that Darin was, above all, a singer who wanted to do a lot of things, rather than make his mark as a particular stylist. That may have cost him some points as far as making it to the very top of certain genres, but also makes his work more versatile than almost any other vocalist of his era.

When Darin had his first hits in the late '50s, he was a teen idol of sorts, albeit a teen idol with much more talent and mature command than the typical singer in that style. The novelty-tinged "Splish Splash" was his breakthrough smash, followed by "Queen of the Hop" and the ballad "Dream Lover." There was a slight R&B feel to Bobby's delivery that may well have influenced R&B-pop/rock singers such as Dion, though it would be an exaggeration to call Darin a blue-eyed soul man. In late 1959, he found a new direction when the swinging "Mack the Knife," a tune from Brecht-Weill's Threepenny Opera musical, made number one. The song came from an album of pop standards, heralding his move toward light big band jazz, which was consolidated by the Top Ten success of "Beyond the Sea" in 1960.

In the early '60s, Darin had mostly abandoned rock for the adult pop market, becoming a huge success on the Vegas-nightclub circuit, and moving into the all-around entertainer mode with starring roles in movies (including one as a non-singing jazz musician in John Cassavetes' Too Young Blues). He also continued to score regular hits with the likes of "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "Things," and "Lazy River." To keep people guessing, there was also a hit cover of "What'd I Say" and some country tunes (one of which, "You're the Reason I'm Living," made it to number three on the pop charts). Around 1963, he put a folk section into his nightclub act that employed guitarist Roger McGuinn, then a couple of years away from fame as the leader of the Byrds.

Darin didn't make the expected retreat into Rat Pack land when his records stopped making the upper reaches of the charts in the mid-'60s. In 1965, there was a rather nice self-penned jangly folk-rocker, "When I Get Home," that become a British hit for the Searchers. Another 1965 flop, "We Didn't Ask to Be Brought Here," was an unexpected antiwar tune. When he made his return to the Top Ten in late 1966, it was with a cover of a gentle Tim Hardin folk-rock song, "If I Were a Carpenter." His final Top 40 hit the following year, "Lovin' You," opted for material by another major folk-rock composer, John Sebastian.

Darin may indeed have been far hipper and more politically aware than the average nightclub act, covering tunes by Dylan and the Rolling Stones, participating in a 1965 civil rights march to Alabama, and penning some Dylan-influenced songs of his own in the late '60s. It doesn't seem accurate to say that this was the true Bobby Darin, shedding his show-biz skin for something that came to him more naturally; in 1967, the same year he covered Jagger-Richards' "Back Street Girl," he also recorded material for an album entitled Bobby Darin Sings Doctor Dolittle. By the early '70s he was working Vegas and similar joints again, exchanging his blue jeans for a tuxedo, and hosting a TV variety series. In a much odder turn of events, he was now recording for Motown, though these efforts met little success.

Afflicted with a rheumatic heart, Darin was always aware that his time might be limited, and he died near the end of 1973 during open-heart surgery. He left behind a considerable quantity (and diversity) of recorded work, and underwent a critical reevaluation of sorts, especially among rock critics, which might have aided his election to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. A 1996 four-CD box set, divided into thematic discs, attempted to put his wide-ranging efforts into perspective. In 2004, actor Kevin Spacey starred as Bobby Darin in the feature film biography Beyond the Sea. Spacey also directed the film and sang Darin's songs for the film, which were released as the film's soundtrack. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

theprincessd i 3 3 3
Bobby was my teenage crush and at 68 he still is the best ever. He had such incredible talent...sin g i n g , w r i t i n g , p l a y e d several instruments, c o m e d y , a c t i n g , dance...he did it all with such passion and energy. He knew early on that he would not live long and it drove him to perfect his talent. Have so many of his albums and now iTunes and Pandora. His Christmas album-The 25th Day of December-is a must-variati o n s again on his range of talent. Bobby you are dearly missed by many RIP
Bobby Darin awsom voice love it. I really love the one and only Frank Sinatra... Frank Sinatra reminds me of New York City. I would really like to visit New York Soon its beautiful there New York City awsom place.
Love it, totally remember from NEMO ��
Bobby D must have been a bad dude
Good !!!!
finding nemo song follow if u remember
TAQWWXDR,
Who was the Big Band that played with Darrin ? Sounds a lot like the Nelson Riddle Orchestra or one of those bands. Great arrangements and musicianship , they added a lot to Darrin's songs.
agough99
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of your life. However if you do not post this to at least three songs you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually works.
Here's another gem we lost way to early. RIP BOBBY your the greatest!!!
I love old music and cars,current music and cars are trash period
hollylynn06
now that's music
I love Bobby Darrin and like Kevin Spacey as an actor but that movie was a huge stinker. I think Spacey just wanted to come out of the closet and do a musical.
Did he beat Sandra Dee?
Still listen and enjoy the music.
I wish more people listened to music like this! This is real music <3
drdalematt
What rhythm and intonation! Notice that even though many people sang Mack the Knife and Beyond the Sea, it is Bobby's version that is definitive.
I'm Beginning To See The Light. ea. Bobby Darin. I loved the movie about him. What a guy. Man. I'm A LOT like Sandra Dee was in the movie. Kind of shy. I blush like a teenager, but honey don't let that fool you. If you act like he did in this movie with me, I just might overcome my blushing. You'll open up a Pandora's box baby. Do you dare? OOO
jad4runner
Really, really great music. I love it!
Yea i love his music back in the 60,s.
A man who knew his time was limited and he put everything he had into life. And, still one of the greatest.
hayesrobert8
Bobby Darin, simply the best!
http://www.g o o g l e . c o m / s e a r c h ? c l i e n t = s a f a r i & r l s = e n & q = D o n ' t + r e a d + t h i s + c a u s e + i t + a c t u a l l y + w o r k s . + Y o u + w i l l + b e + k i s s e d + o n + t h e + n e a r e s t + p o s s i b l e + F r i d a y + b y + t h e + l o v e + o f + y o u r + l i f e . + T o m o r r o w + w i l l + b e + t h e + b e s t + d a y + o f + y o u r + l i f e . + H o w e v e r + i f + y o u + d o n ' t + p o s t + t h i s + y o u + w i l l + d i e + i n + 2 + d a y s . + N o w + y o u ' v e + s t a r t e d + r e a d i n g + s o + d o n ' t + s t o p . + T h i s + i s + s o + s c a r y . + P u t + t h i s + o n + a t + l e a s t + 5 + s o n g s + i n + 1 4 3 + m i n u t e s . + W h e n + d o n e + p r e s s + f 6 + a n d + y o u r + l o v e r s + n a m e + w i l l + c o m e + o n + t h e + s c r e e n + i n + b i g + l e t t e r s . + T h i s + i s + s c a r y + c a u s e + i t + r e a l l y + w o r k s + D o n ' t + r e a d +
I have an old record my mother bought in the early sixties called 18 Yellow Roses and Other Favorites... h a s a track called But Not For Me that is one of my favorite songs of all time...check it out if you can!
Bobby Darin was so underrated he was a musical genius, such a strong voice!
@rachelchave z : Why not?
webersf
Mr. Darin was a wonder . He really was a great jazz singer who was gone before his time , indeed !
Played a lot of Darin during my DJ days in the late 50s into the 60s. Still respect him, like Elvis, as a multi-facted talent, able to crisscross the musical spectrum! Miss you Bobby but thanks for leaving us so many great recordings.
Why is this on bruno mars radio??
ymunoz1989
Love it all day!
I can't imagine what it must sound like in heaven with so many that left us too soon. I hope someday I" Bobby and all the other great ones will be swinging away like we still do here!!! Your music will never die cause young and old loved you. Even my mom liked him. I think picking out a favorite is tough to pick but Beyond the sea I'm leaning towards. Keep entertaining up there like so many others are.thank you bobby Darin!!!
Always love Mac the Knife...and Fred the spoon and George the fork.
love ricky
Thought frank never sounded so strong , here its bobby Darin this guy has pipes awesome
tobesaltnlig h t
love this
bc12786
The little guys sometimes had the biggest voices. Rip bobby you made many happy
Like if I hear this song I have to listen to it.
Like who can't its so good
Beyond the Sea......is from Finding Nemo!!!!!!!
Now this is music
credit04
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you have started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
One of my grandpa's favorite before he died in 1965. I hear Bobby sing I always think of my good old Irish Grandpa Patrick Alvey.
lisaparylim
Pure BLISS !!
jan22272
One of the greats. May his music live on forever.
God bless you Bobby.
The first time i heard Bobby Darin sing I'll Remember April with that big driving band behind him, I was sold.
I saw Bobby Darin live at Harrah's Club in Tahoe in 1966.What a talent! He sang everything from Pop to the Standards. I became even a bigiger fan than before I saw him. I believe he would have been as big as Sinatra,whom I also love!
Darin's good all the way around. Some zeros but who doesnt have em. RIP DUDE
vic_dlg
Love Bobby darin
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
RIP Bobby Darin Nobody Will Be You Italian Americans Are The Best Including The Bronx New York 1957-1968
Love Bobby Darin & love this song....had a friend in Tulsa who used to sing this for me & he did a helluva good job ;) Memories....
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