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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

soccherfor
I can't listen to this channel without tears at some point. Makes be think of my parents and my husbands parents and how they would listen yo theses tunes in their era. Theses songs... Love Love Love them all.
I love this music!!! Grew up in musical family and my father played songs from 30s & 40s. Would love to meet a man who loves these artists; frank, Tony b., Ella, mathis, Darin, etc,
This dude is my all time favorite male vocalist.... . I t started with Mack the Knife.
fgoines39
M
Montovoni
She's my dream lover :-*
To me He was one of the RAT PACK!!
No one ever did it better. Nor had consistently better arrangements .
I love dis song
He left us way to soon........ H e is missed.
I love his music
His song make me think of my loved ones times at the beach and of course Bioshock 1,2,and infinte
dragonlady60 8 8
Bobby and frank and sammy snd nat....ect.. . . f a v e s
dragonlady60 8 8
Sing it bobby....
dragonlady60 8 8
Bobby is grt!!!
Bobby was dynamite...O n e of the greatest entertainers ever!!! RIP my man.
promarlin
You cant top his many voices! different sounds! for different songs. May he rest in peace.
louraone33
Love
love this song!! Always puts me in a good mood. This is the first time I heard this version. LOVE IT!!
Beyond the Sea. My favorite song since I was 8 years old. Never heard this live version before. Blown away! :-)
carbonexpres s 6
Finding nemo!!
In the Mood, best dance song
Blue Moon, best big band song
She was so good....I be leave that everyone liked Her.
Dean had it all!
Great voice and song
love is guys voice!!!
Dream lover where are you..
grammycarylo n
I liked his music very mu c h
hunnybun83
Waiting and watching...
1: Kiss you're left hand
2: Say your crushes
3: Close your hand
4: Pick a school day
5: Post this on 15 different songs and get asked out
Nat King Cole
Colder weather ?? Hope !! Enjoy !! Nephews n JOAN n ed n nurses
Yes I DREAM LOVER !! Where r u !!?? Xo
KEVIN SPACEY DOES A GREAT JOB
He can sing okay
I saw Bobby in London, he was the best act from America i ever saw.
I have seen the very best he was #1.
romancegirl1 9 6 3
He was a such a tortured soul, but his voice was great. Too bad he died so young. Swing on, Bobby!
julimartinez 0 4
6f
Mack the Knife!
''Fly Me... to the Moon''

There is NOTHING, YOU...can ever do, achieve or even buy

That will Outshine--Th e PEACE, JOY and HAPPINESS

Of Being in...COMMUNI O N , with the Partner--YOU . . . L O V E :-)(-:
1. Kiss your left hand
2. Say your crushes
3. Close your hand
4. Pick a school day
5. Post this on 15 different songs and get asked out
Love love love this song.
Poop
Man, this song is so cool.
I am very glad that I lived at the time that these great singers were
There will never artists like these . They delivered their musicyou.the y did not sing
Many have sang this song!- More famous than him!!!- But he's the only only one that made it his own!
All of these are my favorite songs
Jo Stafford & Gordon MacRae
Loved Bobby!
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