Underrated: Bobby Darin

[This post is a stolen guest post by the great Jim Denham, of Shiraz Socialist – stolen from the comments here, with audio-visual added by me. – B.]

Bobby Darin would be my suggestion for an “underrrated” artist. Not entirely forgotten, obviously: his hard-swinging, key-changing ‘Mack The Knife’ still tuns up on pub juke boxes, but most folks these days don’t know who he was and/or mistake him for Sinatra.

I’m told, by the way, that Sinatra hated him, which suggests that Darin must have been an OK human being as well as a fine singer. And whilst Darin could out-Sinatra Sinatra on the Great American Song Book, he (Darin) could also turn in a crditable R&B, Rock’n’Roll and (towards the end) politically orientated Love’n’ Peace semi-folk (as “Bob Darin”) performance. Come to think of it, that’s probably the main reason Sinatra hated him.

To quote from the booklet notes (by one Joseph F. Laredo) to my only Darin CD (recommended: Capitol ‘Spotlight On…Bobby Darin’, 1995), “How can it be in a world where doddering tyrants hold entire nations under their thumb for decades that an awsome talent like Bobby Darin, so transcendentally capable of imparting joy and happiness to millions, was only given 37 years to strut his stuff? Surely if there was any justice at all, spontaneous combustion would be an occupational hazard common to dictators and Bobby Darin would today be well on his way to being a finger-snapping, toe-tapping sexagenarian.”

[So, here he is, singing “I’m Beginning to See the Light (Duke Ellington, Don George, Johnny Hodges, Harry James) followed by hom in folk protest mode.

Apologies to Jim if you’d have chosen totally different songs.]


About bobfrombrockley

South London family man. Eating bacon bagels on the 171 bus, listening to Johnny Cash while reading Hannah Arendt, the kid next to me playing dubstep on his telephone. Mostly politics at http://brockley.blogspot.com and mostly music at https://bobsbeat.wordpress.com

6 comments on “Underrated: Bobby Darin

  1. Good choices, Bob!
    And I don’t think I’ve ever been described as “the great…” before…

  2. Totally agree he out Sinatra’d Sinatra…I would have chosen Bobby’s version of Some of These Days…it is smokin hot and the live performances on You Tube can’t be beat!

  3. Bobby Darin was/is the greatest entertainer ever, He could do it all, and do it all well. He was such a dynamic performer, and so multi talented, that it was scary. He was also a social activist constantly putting his career on the line for his beliefs, standing up for the underdog. Had he lived a long life, the mind thrills to what else he would’ve accomplished.

  4. Thanks, Karen, for confirming my guess that he was a “good guy.” Can you tell us any more, particularly about his social activism?

    Jo: I will immediately check out his version of Some Of These Days, as recommended by yourself. My personal favourite is ‘Alabamy Bound’, never commercially released at the time but now available via the Capitol ‘Spotlight On…’ CD.

    P.S: Just saw and heard Robbie Williams on the TV giving a poor impersonation of Darin’s ‘Mack The Knife.’

  5. Bobby Darin had no funeral. He is the direct descendant of Thomas Wilmarth. Also, another ancestor to Thomas Wilmarth: Ted Cochran! Unfortunate happenings occur due to Darin had a bad heart while Ted lost his hearing.

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