Rock and Roll Heaven Bobby Darin
Walden Robert Cassotto was born May 14 1936 and after a complicated early family life and surviving a shocking childhood sickness, Walden went on to become the star we know and love Bobby Darin.
He started singing in high school kicking off with a first paid job at 16.
1958 Bobby wrote in nine minutes and recorded “Splish Splash” that hit the charts and the world took notice of the boy from the Bronx New York. Then came a string of hits 1959 “Dream Lover” at first he was very unsure of the song but his star was on the rise and it was another hit. He became a regular on Dick Clarks American Bandstand. Dick Clark later backed my application for a Green Card in the US and spoke highly of Bobby during the many off the record conversations with Dick, then the host of Americas most popular teen TV show.
Bobby Darin was a much sort after TV act and appeared in the first of his six Ed Sullivan Show performances May 31 1959. Talent agents begged to get their acts on Ed’s show all except Bobby’s Agent, the showed asked him first.
Bobby was also voted by many parents as, the young man who they hoped would date their daughters. He was talented but not flashy. Two unusual song choices, not written by Bobby, increased the depth of his audience,”Beyond the Sea” and “Mack the Knife” gained favour with older audiences.
I first Interviewed Bobby when hosting the Coca Cola Hi Fi Club covering his appearance in the Movie “Come September.” In 62 Bob won a Golden Globe for his role with his first wife the lovely actress Sandra Dee. Their marriage would last 5 years.
What was Bobby Darin like? He was a sharp and very funny performer, right through his early years he expressed a comedic edge.
Later he developed a Night Club act featuring his many impersonations of Hollywood Stars. And wow he was good at it!
Bobby was also Political and in 1968 worked on Robert Kennedys Presidential Campaign and was at the Ambassador Hotel the night Robert was assassinated.
Robert Kennedys death had a profound effect on his life and it was reported that he sold his worldly goods, became a recluse and lived in a trailer home, I never wanted to go near that story preferring to remember him as I had met and seen him.
Bobby Darin was the darling of Las Vegas, backing bands loved him and his live performances packed them in. Big name singers like Frank Sinatra would be in the audience but they never performed together. He also appeared with other singers of the era Tony Fisher and Andy Williams, their 4min. 55 sec. TV rendition of “Do Re Mi” is worth looking out for. If you ever want to see a “loving performance” check out Bobby and Petula Clark singing “All I have to do is Dream” (Everly Brothers hit) the long kiss at the end of the clip is so tender.
Next time you’re in Vegas, I’m sure you go every weekend, and a fan of Bobby’s look down for his star on the footpath on The Las Vegas Walk of Stars.
Bobby was also a DJ favourite and the song that stands out in my mind is “Artificial Flowers.” Never a big chart hit but when you saw his perform it live, look out he never missed one beat of the performance.
Grammy Award winner Bobby Darin enjoyed a super ride to stardom but his childhood illness came back to haunt him.
Bobby entered Rock and Roll Heaven December 20 1973 he was only 37.
In my musical memories… gone… but never forgotten.