Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It's no secret that I love the music of Bobby Darin. Maybe 'love' is too mild and common a word. 'Adore' doesn't quite work either. 'Worship' seems a bit..blasphemous. Maybe I'll settle for 'delight in'. I delight in the music of Bobby Darin. I revel in it. I let it tickle my toes and wash through my fingers. I absorb it; I breathe it in like incense; I soak in it with greatest bliss.

I just saw Beyond the Sea tonight. Yeah, the semi-biopic about Bobby Darin that stars Kevin Spacey, Kate Bosworth, and John Goodman. They got Spacey to look quite a bit like Bobby, and he moves so much like him it's scary. Spacey does his own singing, which I was a little worried about. But he's brilliant! He perfectly mimics Bobby's unique timing and signature vocal quirks. He even nails that little husky purr that always melts me. His voice is pleasant, but not magical like Bobby's.

I cried at the end of the movie. I didn't think I would; obviously, I know how it's gonna end, right? Bobby Darin died. Fact. But when the audience at the Flamingo started grooving to his song, I choked up. When they hit their feet, I was a goner. And then when he launched into "The Curtain Falls" me, they were tears of pure, unsullied joy. Joy that this movie fulfilled and surpassed all my hopes and expectations.

Now, please understand that this movie is not a strict portrayal of the life of Bobby Darin. No no no. It's rather a celebration of the music and magic that Bobby gave to us. But it's not a total fictionalization, like Hans Christian Anderson. It's kind of a romantic retelling of his magnificent tale of triumph.

I've delighted in Bobby Darin's music since the first time I heard his version of "Mack the Knife" on the radio on July 7, 1997. The following day, I bought a cassette tape of his music; during my first hearing of those 8 or 10 songs, I felt certain this voice, this music would consume me.

Twenty cds, several movies, and three original vinyl LP records later, my delight has not abated.


  1. I just might have to go dig for some of his songs just to see what the appeal is.

  2. Oooooh, a possible new convert! Bwahahahahaha!

    Er, I mean, try to find "Mack the Knife" (my #1 fave song of all time!), "Beyond the Sea", "Don't Rain on My Parade", "Good-bye, Charlie", "18 Yellow Roses", "Happy", and "What a Difference a Day Made". They'll give you an idea.

  3. And "Charade"! How could I have forgotten "Charade"?

    A lot of Bobby Darin's appeal is that his music is so diverse. He recorded every style that was around at the time: rock'n'roll, swing, jazz, blues, country&western,'s really hard to get bored when listening to him, because he does so many different things.

  4. Hey! Just back from my vacation and had to tell you that I got to see "Beyond the Sea!" I loved it! I know a lot of his music, but had no clue about any of his life. Fascinating life he led. I was ready to cry at the end, myself.

  5. You're back! Hooray! Didja have a good vacation?

    Isn't "Beyond the Sea" an awesome movie? I've read the book "Dream Lovers: The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee" by their son, Dodd Darin. So I knew a lot of Bobby's life story already. The essential facts and timeline are in the movie ;-)

  6. Yes, a fun vacation was had! The week flew by.

    So, can you recommend a good Bobby Darin CD or two to pick up? I only have Mack the Knife and Beyond the Sea on compilation albums. I'd love to get something that's all Bobby Darin.

  7. Oh gosh, I have so many albums of Bobby, it's hard to pick just one or two to recommend. But I'll try.

    Okay, if you just want one really great cd, the one I listen to the most is "Bobby Darin: Swingin' the Standards" on Varese Saraband records.

    Another really good one is from the Capitol Records Collector's Series, just titled "Bobby Darin".

    But if you want a really good basic selection of his most recognizable hits, I'd go with the two-volume (sold separately) set from the Atlantic & Atco Masters Series. It's called "The Best of Bobby Darin", and Vol. 1 is subtitled "Splish Splash", while Vol.2 is "Mack the Knife". Those are the first two Bobby cds I ever bought.

  8. Excellent! Thank you! Will check out the availability of said cds!


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