Saturday, January 2, 2016

Bobby Darin - The Music

Since the other website doesn't allow us to post music or links, we've decided to make this a full-on Bobby Darin Weekend ...

First with information about our series FINALLY being posted in its entirety (followed by all of the great press we received the first time around) ...

Then with The Bobby Darin Hit List ... GREAT renditions (and long lost tracks) of Bobby's Greatest Hits ...

And, finally tomorrow, a log of great Bobby covers and incidentals that you just may have missed along the way.

Enjoy it all as we celebrate The Bobby Darin Story ... EXCLUSIVELY in Forgotten Hits!!!

Bobby's first television appearance ... performing the Lonnie Donegan skiffle hit "Rock Island Line" on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show ... a week after Elvis first appeared on the program.

Bobby had just recorded this song earlier that same week ... and wasn't completely familiar with the lyrics ... plus he was a nervous wreck appearing on TV for the very first time ... so, rather than take any chances of flubbing a live performance, he wrote the lyrics on the palms of his hands in case he got stuck.  Problem was he was SO nervous that he was sweating, blurring and wiping away the lyrics!!!  If you watch closely, you'll see him make numerous glances to his palms (while trying to look every bit of non-chalet in his first tv appearance!)  He later joked about the whole experience .. but the film doesn't lie!

Here's "Splish Splash", Bobby's first big hit, as performed on The Dick Clark Beech-Nut Show, 1958 ... Clark and Darin remained friends for life and Bobby made several appearances over the years on various Dick Clark programs and television specials.

"Queen Of The Hop" - Bobby's second Top Ten Hit, recorded at the same session!

Hedging his bets should Atlantic / Atco Records have dropped him if "Splish Splash" wasn't a hit, Bobby recorded a "back-up" track for Brunswick records called "Early In The Morning as The Ding Dongs.  When Atco found out, they seized the master and re-released it by The Rinky-Dinks (so as not to compete with Bobby's other hit on the charts at the time.)  Not wanting to lose the momentum of the record as it was climbing the charts, Brunswick quickly cut another version by a young rock and roll singer by the name of Buddy Holly!

And then, another #2 Smash ... and one of Bobby's greatest hits, "Dream Lover" from 1959!

Give a listen to "Bullmoose" ... with none other than the great Neil Sedaka on piano. (When's the last time you ever heard the Julliard protege play like this???)

And then, the biggest hit of his career ... going completely against type (and disregarding all of the advise given to him by his peers), Bobby cut "Mack The Knife" ... and watched it climb the charts and sit in the #1 Spot for nine straight weeks!!!

This was followed by another Top Ten Hit from the same LP, "Beyond The Sea", in 1960.

"Clementine" ... a #11 Hit from 1960

Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey, 1960

And the flipside, "I'll Be There", later a hit for Gerry and the Pacemakers

Artificial Flowers, #14 in 1960

One of the best examples of the smooth, swingin' style of Bobby Darin ... "Lazy River", a #11 hit in 1961.

Nat "King" Cole reportedly hated it ... but one of MY all-time Bobby Darin favorites has got to be his hepped-up version of "Nature Boy"  (#31, 1961)

"You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby", another hit resurrected during The British Invasion by The Dave Clark Five ... first a hit in 1938 for Bing Crosby ... and then again for Bobby Darin in 1961 (#4)

Darin cut an entire album of Ray Charles classics in 1962 ... including this #24 hit, "What'd I Say"

Things, a #3 Smash in 1962

I don't care what ANYBODY says ... this still sounds like a poor man's version of "I Can't Stop Loving You" to me ... Ray Charles went country, so why not Bobby Darin?  "You're The Reason I'm Living" was a #3 hit in 1963.  (He later claimed it was based on "Happy Birthday" ... so I guess it's a rip-off either way you look at it!!!)

Another one of my all-time favorites ... "18 Yellow Roses" from 1963.  Nine times out of ten this one brings a tear to my eye ... if you've never watched your first-born daughter get married, it'll happen to YOU someday, too!

Bobby resurrects the feel of "Mack The Knife" on this cover version of the Broadway hit, "Hello Dolly", 1965.

A big comeback hit for Bobby in 1966.  It never left his act after that.  "If I Were A Carpenter", the Tim Hardin tune, a #5 hit in 1966.

Bobby finally scored with a John Sebastian tune when "Lovin' You" went to #31 in 1967.  (Read all about the songs he turned away in our Bobby Darin Series on The Official Forgotten Hits Website ...

My greatest discovery ...
While researching the Bobby Darin series I came across this INCREDIBLE B-Side ... a sure-fire hit in its own right if only given a chance ... the epitome of the Darin style.
When we did our Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides Poll a few years later, I actually campaigned for votes for this tune ... an undiscovered gem. "Rainin'"

And here's Bobby accompanying Linda Ronstadt on one of my all-time favorite songs by her ... "Long Long Time" ...
Bobby Darin and Linda Ronstadt

Friday, January 1, 2016

BOBBY DARIN - Rave Reviews!

OK, it's official ...

Our COMPLETE Bobby Darin Series is now posted on The Forgotten Hits Website for all the world to see!!!

This was another landmark series we first put together back in 2003 ... back when Forgotten Hits was still just a emailed newsletter with a limited reader base ... and those readers (plus many, many more) have been asking to see it again ever since.

So click the link to enjoy it in its entirety.   (A word of warning however ... when this series first ran, it was distributed as individual chapters, spread out over thirty days.  This one may take a little while to digest now that the whole series is posted as one article.)

But word of mouth has been good ... 

Here are just some of the comments we received after this piece first ran ... tell ya what ... if THESE comments don't get you to give it a gander, I don't know what else will!!!  We received the highest accolades from everybody who stumbled across it the first time ... now it's YOUR turn!!!

(A Reminder:  Because this piece was originally distributed as 30 individual chapters, comments came through as each new piece of information was revealed.  I have done my best to consolidate those comments from common sources into as few entire as possible in the hopes of easier processing on the readers' end moving forward.)

I love Bobby Darin's singing voice. Thanks for the spotlight. I can't wait to see his biopic with Kevin Spacey playing Bobby. I just hope they actually use Darin's voice. I read somewhere that Spacey was going to be singing. We'll see what happens, I suppose. :)
Beatle Princess

KEVIN SPACEY does ALL his own singing in the film ... and you'll be AMAZED just how good he sounds!  (At first, they felt that the movie simply couldn't be made without BOBBY's vocals ... but SPACEY surprised EVERYONE ... he must have been a HUGE fan himself!)  In fact, I've already received pre-order information on the soundtrack through!  (kk)
ohh! well I can't wait to see if he does him justice. Although he did have some great chops in that concert for New York special that he hosted after 9/11.          BP

and then ...

I just saw the trailer for "Beyond the Sea" tentatively scheduled for wide release on December 29th and I must say that it does look decent. In the clip Kevin Spacey does a version of "Mack the Knife" as they fade out to different clips of him headlining in Vegas, marrying Sandy, and taking breaks between songs to inhale some oxygen. {The voice-over even underscored Darin's urgency to make it "big" at an early age because "time was running out".}
Anyway, perfect timing for this Bobby piece (are you sure you're not working with Lions Gate films to draw some early buzz? LOL)     BeatlePrincess

No ... but I suppose I am entitled to some sort of a commission for getting the word out to the music fans out there!!!  (kk)

Your Bobby Darin story was phenomenal!! I loved his music, and I have that Bobby Darin Story album where he tells you to turn over the record, or it will crash. I always thought that was so clever! Its such a shame he lived so recklessly. I cannot remember his television show, though. (Must have been on opposite Mod Squad or something!) 

I am looking forward to the movie coming out, armed with all this background information, and I'm sure Kevin Spacey will do it justice. Thanks so much for all you put into this piece.
By the way, Kevin Spacey will be appearing at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City on December 11 with a full orchestra, and will be doing all the songs from the Bobby Darin movie !

Thanks for the kind words!  KEVIN SPACEY is now out on tour doing the BOBBY DARIN thing live in selected cities ... he hits Chicago on December 21st!!!

>>>BORROWED TIME:  THE 37 YEARS OF BOBBY DARIN by AL DiORIO, the grand-daddy of them all.  (kk)
First of all, thanks so much for your wonderful project on Bobby Darin. You guys really are the best!
"Borrowed Time" was one of the best bios that I ever read -- and one of the most eye-opening, especially the part about Bobby's real mother. I did an at-length interview with Dick Clark back in 1979 and toward the end I brought up the subject of Bobby Darin. The interview was supposed to be a half hour and we had just reached that point. Dick then went on for another 15 minutes about Bobby Darin, actually stating that one of his goals was to do a movie about Bobby. He said that there were things about Bobby that I would be shocked to hear, but that he still needed to get family approval to do the movie properly. He seemed so excited about it that I was sure I'd see something in the next five years or so. Well, I waited with much anticipation for many years and his project never came to be, but I'm excited about the upcoming "Beyond The Sea". I am wondering though, how Kevin Spacey, who already seems to look older that Bobby was when he passed away, will look portraying Bobby throughout his life in the movie. However he looks, I'm just glad that a movie has finally been done about one of the most talented performers of any generation.
Danny Guilfoyle
P.S.  Although his Motown album has been somewhat overlooked and considered not too important in his legacy, there is a song on it that I put on almost any "romantic" tape or CD that I make. It is called "Something In Her Love," and it was also the flip side of the 45 rpm "Sail Away". I'm quite sure that if you find it and play it for your lady, she'll love it!

I just won the Motown LP on an EBay auction and am looking forward to hearing the whole thing...and it sounds like we could round up about half the list and make it a night-out-at-the-movies to see the new KEVIN SPACEY flick!!!  (kk)

WOW! I knew Bobby and Sandra's relationship wasn't picture-perfect but I didn't know it was this crazy! This mailing in and of itself can certainly be the screenplay for a movie solely about their relationship, or at least great material for a story line in a soap opera LOL         

Beatle Princess
For the BEST perspective on this relationship ... from ALL points of view ... check out their son DODD DARIN's book DREAM LOVERS: THE MAGNIFICENT SHATTERED LIVES OF BOBBY DARIN AND SANDRA DEE ... you'll be fascinated!  (kk)

Kent ... 

Wow!  What a series!!  I am exhausted and yet elated upon reading these past 24 days.  Excellent job, my friend!!   I was not a huge fan of Bobby Darin, and was anticipating seeing the movie anyway, but now I want to see it more than ever.  Hopefully it will be true to the facts that you have presented in this article.  Thanks to the others who contributed.   So how are ya gonna top THIS one?  lol      Mamie :)
Hmmm ... I don't know if I can top this one ... should I even bother to try???  Or just send out some more good stuff as I find the time to think it up?!?!?!?  

Glad you enjoyed the series ... it was truly a labor of love ... and seems to have been an across-the-boards hit.  (I actually thought about making this series the FORGOTTEN HITS swan song ... but I think I've still got one or two more left in me!!!)  kk
EDITOR'S NOTE:  Forgotten Hits has gone on another 13 years since this article first ran!!!  (kk)

After reading your articles on Bobby Darin I don't need to see the movie!  lol 

Cool ... so send me HALF of the nine bucks I saved ya!!!  (kk)

From one of my newsletters (ezines@arcamax) ... I thought you might be interested

Spacey: 'You Don't Need to Know About Darin' 
Source: World Entertainment News Network
KEVIN SPACEY has reassured movie fans they don't need to know who BOBBY DARIN is to appreciate his new biopic.
The OSCAR-winner plays the 1950s singer in BEYOND THE SEA alongside a star-studded cast including KATE BOSWORTH, JOHN GOODMAN and BRENDA BLETHYN.
But Spacey insists he isn't concerned younger cinema-goers won't have heard of the star.
He says, "I don't think it matters in the least, any more than it matters that people walk into a movie without having heard of FORREST GUMP.
"Look it's a strange prejudice that people will go to see a movie about a real person only if they already know who they were. I just happen to think that Darin was one of the most remarkable entertainers we ever had.
"And his story is worthy of telling. But no way do you need to know anything about him going in." (IG/E/GES)
(c) 2004 World Entertainment News Network

Damn ... looks like I busted my ass on this article for nothing!!!!!!!  LOL  (kk)

You're the Reason I'm Living is a direct rip of I Can't Stop Loving You, as was A Million and One in 1966 by both Vic Dana and Dean Martin.  In fact, the writers of A Million and One were sued for copyright infringement soon after that song was out.  I listened to the songs you mentioned and I don't hear any similarities that the writers claim.  The songs are great, but they must be hearing voices or did too many drugs to hear these things!
Clay P

>>>When GRACIE died, BOBBY actually slept in her bed for several nights so that GEORGE BURNS wouldn't be alone.  He finally convinced BURNS that the only way he would ever come to terms with his wife's death was to also sleep in her bed.  (kk)
Hold on ... does that mean that George and Bobby slept together in Gracie's bed???

Actually, yes, I believe they did ... but NOT in the way your note might imply.  (For THAT kind of scandal, you'll have to wait for THE MICHAEL JACKSON STORY ... coming soon to a FH Mailbox near you ... not!)  

This was just one friend helping another very close friend get over their grief.  GEORGE BURNS was already a 62 year old showbiz legend by the time BOBBY DARIN joined him on stage in Lake Tahoe ... and (INCREDIBLY!) he would go on to outlive BOBBY by another 23 years.  GRACIE was his WHOLE life up until then ... when she died, he was devastated, grieving beyond relief.  BOBBY found a way to soothe and comfort a very dear friend ... and it worked.  BURNS continued his career another 30+ years and reached a whole new audience and generation in the process.  He was even "typecast" as God for goodness' sake!!!  (Most likely is the fact that after BOBBY stayed with BURNS for several nights, sleeping in GRACIE's bed to be near his friend and mentor, he convinced GEORGE that HE should sleep in GRACIE's bed to feel nearer to his dearly departed wife ... my guess is that they simply "swapped" beds that night ... and BURNS gave the credit to BOBBY for helping him to overcome his grief.)  KK

>>>In fact, BOBBY DARIN toured with a virtual who's-who of late '50's rock stars...besides BUDDY HOLLY, he also hit the road with FRANKIE AVALON, THE COASTERS, DUANE EDDY, DION AND THE BELMONTS, JIMMY CLANTON, girlfriend JOANN CAMPBELL and CLYDE McPHATTER.  (kk)
WOW! What a show that must've been!     

Well, actually, this wasn't a single SHOW ... these are just some of the artists that BOBBY toured with in the early stages of his career.  (Although he WAS on the bill at THE APOLLO THEATER with BILLY WARD AND THE DOMINOES, THE FIVE SATINS and THE CHANTELS ... and THAT's pretty good company for an up-and-coming white boy!!!  (kk)

I vaguely remember the name Terry Melcher from the Charles Manson / Helter Skelter story. Am I imagining things? I don't recall the connection. By the way, your series is remarkable. Congratulations on your brilliant journalism.
Phil (CaloToonz)

If I'm not mistaken, THE MANSON FAMILY broke into what they believed was TERRY MELCHER's house (with the original intent of killing MELCHER.  MELCHER by then was a well-known, successful record producer, most noted for his work with THE BYRDS and PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS.  He also just happened to be the spoiled, rich-kid son of actress DORIS DAY.)  Instead, this is where they found SHARON TATE .... who was renting the house with her husband ROMAN POLANSKI, currently out of the country filming a movie.  It is now believed that MANSON may actually have had a motive for the killings ... in the spring of 1968, he had been introduced to TERRY MELCHER through DENNIS WILSON of THE BEACH BOYS.  (WILSON had picked up a couple of hitch-hikers who brought him back to the ranch where CHARLIE held court ... he even became one of MANSON's followers for a while, drawn in by the free drugs and the free sex, and even let "family members" stay in his house for a while.  He eventually gave MANSON a gold record (or it was stolen ... both reports seem to exist) ... which MANSON then pawned for spending money ... and even convinced THE BEACH BOYS to record one of CHARLIE's songs, CEASE TO EXIST ... which THE BEACH BOYS retitled NEVER LEARN NOT TO LOVE.  It ended up on the B-Side of their BLUEBIRDS OVER THE MOUNTAIN single.  DENNIS took the writing credit for the song but reportedly sent MANSON royalties checks to help keep the family afloat financially.  While all of this was going on, DENNIS introduced CHARLIE to TERRY MELCHER for a possible audition.  (MELCHER's association with THE BEACH BOYS goes back to their earliest days ... in fact, he and BRUCE JOHNSTON recorded early '60's surf tunes as both BRUCE AND TERRY and THE RIP CHORDS.  His association with THE BEACH BOYS extended into the next several decades ... in fact, he cowrote their biggest hit, KOKOMO!)  MELCHER had been living at what's become known as the TATE residence with his then-girlfriend CANDICE BERGEN.  MANSON auditioned for MELCHER, but MELCHER decided not to sign him to a recording contract.  It was then that a possibly furious MANSON sent the Family to the TATE house to kill MELCHER. But, unknown to MANSON, MELCHER had already moved out and was now renting the house to TATE and POLANSKI.  

By the way, thanks for the kind words on the BOBBY DARIN series ... now that I'm watching it develop, (despite all my paranoia and reservations) I think I did OK!!!
NOTE:  Sadly, a couple of weeks after our BOBBY DARIN series first ran, TERRY MELCHER died after a long battle with melanoma (skin cancer).  (kk)

If I didn't know this was Wayne Newton and I would've just listened to the song, I swear I would've guessed it was Leslie Gore on vocals LOL      

TOOOOOO Funny!!!!  (LOL)  Frannie says the same thing ... NEWTON's voice on his early recordings defy ALL genders!!!  (kk)

I was already twenty-something when Bobby Darin's Splish Splash hit the airwaves. My first reaction was, "This is GOOD!". It certainly wasn't the silly little song that got me, so it had to be the singer. He was clearly, in my mind at least, superior to most of the rock and roll vocalists of his era. Bear in mind that my ear was not attuned to what was happening back then as I was deep into Ella, Nat, Frank, Perry Como, and that whole group. Bobby seemed closer to THEM than to Ricky, Elvis, Buddy, etc. I became a fan instantly. Dream Lover pretty much sealed the deal and of course Mack The Knife made me feel like the smartest man on the planet for having singled Bobby out. Next to Johnny Mathis, he was my favorite new male singer ... period. So I just took him as a singer, not a rock and roller. My generation was not so sure rock and roll was going to last. In many ways, what we called rock and roll DIDN'T. Trying to move into the world of those who sang for adults and still sell a bunch of records to the kids was not an easy thing to do. The aforementioned Mathis did it with a lot of classy stuff for adults that also happened to be great make-out music for the kids, but Bobby was trying for something else. He might have made it, too, if he had been a healthy man with a healthy heart. What I am trying to say is that in addition to his drive, his manner, his personality and wit, the man could just flat out sing. He could have made it in the pre-rock and roll era, I am sure. I am not all that certain that all of his contemporaries could. My view is colored by my years and my exposure to all that music that came before Bobby. So it is just that ... my view. I wanted to share it.

Hi there -
Interesting article on Bobby Darin; good job on researching it.
Here's an unusual remake of "Splish Slash", done by Dr. John. I made this one from a fairly rare various artists sampler titled ' in harmony 2'.  and, yet another remake of "splish splash"; this one is done by Loggins & Messina. I made this one from their 1975 album titled 'so Fine'; don't know if you're familiar with that particular album, but it's all remakes of 50's and early 60's songs.
enjoy / take care,

Cool ... I'll include THESE in today's mailing, too!  (Actually, I seem to remember there being SEVERAL good remakes on that LOGGINS AND MESSINA album!)  kk

I don't think it's a matter of jumping on the bandwagon. It's not done as much anymore, but many rock stars (particularly UK) feel they have to justify that they are true entertainers by recording standards, incorporating classical music or adding features that would be called non-r&r. Even 50 years after Bill Haley, rock & roll is something that is looked down upon, as there are those today who still believe that no one given a choice would listen to rock music. Elvis is a prime example. He deserted his roots as soon as he got the money. You have your whole life to put out your first record. After you've signed on the dotted line, you're at the mercy of the record company. You've written about it yourself. Bobby Darin isn't the only artist to put his foot in his mouth. Perhaps he should be remembered as an all around entertainer. A lot of what he said and did was based on the assumption that he was not going to live to a ripe old age. He was in it for the money, just like everyone else who has ever recorded something hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. If some one were to pay me that kind of money to play Vegas, I'm on the next flight out.           JackJ13
We looked for you while we were there (Vegas that is ... the morning that the last chapter of the BOBBY DARIN piece was sent out, Frannie and I took off for Las Vegas two hours later!) but we didn't see ya (so I guess nobody took you up on your offer!)  DARIN was considered brash and cocky from the word go ... and I'm sure he was, to have been interpreted that way by MOST of the people he would meet in his short lifetime ... even his FAMILY said so!  As such, he alienated himself from much of the press, who rode him for the rest of his career about his lack of achievements ... I think in Chapter 24 I pretty well covered just how much BOBBY DARIN DID achieve in that short lifetime ... pretty impressive indeed!  (kk)


In all of your research about Darin was there any truth to the rumor that he was a drug addict (heroin)? Also, would you happen to know when the movie is coming out with Kevin Spacey?         
I never came across ANYTHING that would indicate DARIN was involved in any drug use ... quite the contrary, in fact.  Knowing how fragile his health was, it is doubtful that DARIN would gamble with any substance that might decrease his chances of survival.  That being said, I've since learned that he DID smoke and drink ... but reportedly not to excess ... and there are still rumors circulating that he and BOBBY KENNEDY smoked marijuana together on an airplane ... but nothing officially confirmed on this.  The latest movie release date information I have says that it opens nationwide on December 29th (with exclusive appearances in New York City and Los Angeles beginning December 17th.)  kk

Okay, this time, you've outdone yourself! GREAT piece of work ... thank you very much!
By the way, I may have mentioned this in our "American Dreams" discussions ... during the show's first season, one of the "Bandstand" clips used featured Roosevelt Grier (of all people, lol), who performed a song from an album that was produced and had liner notes by ... Bobby Darin! The album is "Soul City", and it features two Darin-penned tunes.

Yes, you HAD mentioned that before ... and I'd STILL love to hear it!!!  (BTW, is this the BEST season of AMERICAN DREAMS ever or what?!?!?  Frannie and I have been moved to tears a few times already ... and it's only been on for a few weeks!  And, of course, DUNCAN SHEIK appeared on the program as BOBBY DARIN, singing BEYOND THE SEA!)  kk

Thanks for ANOTHER great series.  Bob Darin appealed to almost everyone because he crossed over through so many kinds of music, there was something for EVERYONE.
Time for the 5 BEST Bobby Darin singles!  Can I start this?
1)  The Girl That Stood Beside Me.  From Bobby's folk period complete with bagpipes!
2)  Sorrow Tomorrow.  The flip of You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby, this has ALWAYS been one of my favorite flips and could have been a hit in its own right.
3)  Dream Lover.  Great pop song!  This is probably the song he will always be most remembered for.
4)  I'll Be There.  Gerry and the Pacemakers had the hit, but Bobby sang it with his heart on his sleeve.
5) A True True Love.  The flip of If a Man Answers received quite a bit of airplay in Chicago.  Very romantic yet sad at the same time.  Wouldn't we love to know what he was thinking as he recorded this?  A special ep 45 of this was given away when you bought a Scripto pen.  Anyone remember that?  I still have mine!                

Incredibly, I probably saw about 20 copies of the SCRIPTO Picture Sleeve at the Austin Record Convention in October ... and, there's at least another half-dozen on EBay right now!!!  But NONE of them have the pen attached ... does yours?!?!?  (One of them on EBay has major Ink Stains because the pen leaked!!!  LOL)  Glad you enjoyed the series ... I know you're a big BOBBY DARIN fan and I'm glad I did him justice.  I discovered SO many new BOBBY DARIN songs while working on this ... too many favorites to mention ... but I was especially pleased with those that I included in the British Invasion chapters.

YO Kent ... 

You heard it here first ... a handsome up-and-coming Darin / Sinatra type Canadian singer named Michael Buble (pronounced "BUblay".  On a tip from a cousin I bought his self-titled CD the other day and was blown away by his renditions of "Summer Wind" and "Come Fly With Me" ... The Nelson Riddle orchestra didn't sound any better than this!   I can't play it enough:)   
By the way, your work on the Bobby Darin series has far reaching effects.  One of my nieces, who also happens to be one of my Godchildren, is a huge Bobby Darin fan.  Her name is Lisa Michelle and she is only 18.  She was in the drama club in high school and I saw every show that she was in and she always references Bobby Darin in some way.  At her graduation party she made sure that the DJ played a Darin song about every fifth record ... I mean CD  lol age showing:)  So what I did was print your series (can't wait around for the hardback edition) and mailed it to her. I followed that up with a call to her at college and asked her to be my "date" to go see "Beyond the Sea".   Your work and my schmoozing have helped to make a lovely young lady very happy:)   
Once again, exemplary work my friend.                          Rich  ^5
Glad I could help!!!  (Hope she enjoyed the series.)  I'm not familiar with MICHAEL BUBLE ... there've been a few singers in recent years who have tried the SINATRA / DARIN approach with various bits of success ... HARRY CONNICK, JR. first comes to mind ... and then that ridiculous JOHN STEVENS craze during AMERICAN IDOL ... but there really hasn't been anyone quite like BOBBY since BOBBY!!!  (Amazing that an 18 year old today would find joy in this music ... sounds like a rare breed!!!  Then again, that's certainly preferable over EMINEM!!!)  Enjoy the movie ... wish we could do a FORGOTTEN HITS outing, rent a bus and ALL go see it together!  (kk)

UPDATE:  Very few of us knew who Michael Buble was back in 2003 when this series first ran ... you'd be hard to find ANYONE out there today who hasn't been touched by my the music, wit and charm of Mr. Buble ever since!  (kk)

BTW:  The 12-09-04 issue of Rolling Stone magazine has an article titled "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" voted on by a jury of 172 singers, musicans, producers, industry figures, critics and songwriters. Bobby Darin had one song in the top 500.  Mack the Knife was number 251.  This is what the article said about this song:
Written by: Marc Blitzstein, Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill
Produced by: Ahmet Ertegun
Released: March '59 on Atco
Charts: 26 weeks
Top spot: No. 1 Darin began in the 1950s with the rock & roll bathtub classic "Splish Splash." But he changed his image with his hepcat version of a morbid tale from Weill's Threepenny Opera. Darin came on as a finger-snapping sophisticate at home in the cocktail lounge, scatting over a jazzy groove. He sounded so suave it was easy to forget he was singing about a bloodthirsty Berlin gangster. Appears on: That's All (Atlantic)
Considering that the ROLLING STONE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ROCK AND ROLL does not have one word written about BOBBY DARIN's career mentioned in it, that's a pretty good honor in perspective.  (In fact, the ROLLING STONE official obituary on DARIN was one of the most complementary and comprehensive pieces written ... all the more surprising since they pretty much ignored his entire career ... even the revolutionary folk / Troubodour period!)
Oooooh!  Whatta cliff hanger!  Excellent series, Kent.  You've really out-done yourself this time!  I am as hooked on reading these emails as my mom is watching her novelas!       

Al DiOrio took the approach of unveiling Bobby's life as it happened through his own eyes ... meaning that every chapter early on was written under the illusion that Nina was Bobby's sister and Polly was his mother.  I, instead, chose to present Bobby's entire career first, saving the "cliff-hanger" for the moment when it first reared its ugly head.  Had Bobby not exhibited some political aspirations, there is every reason to believe that the truth about his parentage may never have come out ... just as Bobby died never knowing who his real father was.  It DID make for some dramatic effect, however ... pretty incredible in hindsight that a career that shown such a bright light still had little secrets lurking in the shadows.  (kk)

When I got part 1 of Part 18 I thought you had just forgotten to send the attachment.  Then when I got part 2 of Part 18 (this is starting to sound like one of those legal passages <g>) I realized there were no attachments - just the facts.  However I totally enjoyed reading the information as it was a part of Darin's history that I'd never heard.  Great job Kent!         JO
I figured that THIS chapter was strong enough to stand alone!!!  (If you didn't already know this part of the BOBBY DARIN story, it was quite a shocker...and I felt it didn't need to be supplemented with any music...more of an "effect" I guess.)  Glad you're enjoying the series!  (kk)
Click here: Beyond The Sea: The legend of Bobby Darin
See what you started?  <G>           JO201

I'll have to check this out ... but my guess is that there's gonna be ALL kinds of BOBBY DARIN stuff flooding the market now that the movie's finally coming out!!!  I just picked up the two new bios and ... in my TOTALLY unbiased opinion, my FORGOTTEN HITS piece BLOWS them away!!!  (LOL)  kk

>>>It is said that BIG SUR is one of the most beautiful, breath-taking spots on earth  (kk)
It is indeed. The views of the ocean to the west and the hills to the east are breathtaking. You cannot, appreciate this while driving. If you go in the early spring, you are likely to see whales breaching, a breath-taking sight.
If you endeavor to see it for yourself, may I recommend a restaurant? It's not so much the restaurant, but it's the geographical location: on a jetty, facing the Pacific Ocean. Go at sunset, a sunset on the Pacific is a treasure from God Almighty. It is beautiful and romantic. Take your better half on a romantic stroll along the trails and engage in an exhilarating kiss. I have, and it is a beautiful, romantic memory that I can feel, see and taste at this very moment. Here's the place:
Click here: Rocky Point Restaurant
Love and stuff ...
Phil  (CaloToonz)


LOL  ... yeah  Big Sur is quite a drive,  and you stop in all these little turnouts to take pics, and gotta watch for cars coming at ya.  But the view is SOOOOOOOOO spectacular!!!   

We drove from San Francisco to L.A. and it was certainly one of the most treacherous drives I've ever done.  Unfortunately, the driver gets to see very little of the beautiful scenery for fear of taking even a moment's notice away from the road.  (For those who have never driven it, it's a one-lane, twisting-turning, steeply-climbing highway.)   Beautiful as it's supposed to be, we saw nothing but FOG most of the way!  (LOL)  That was looking off to the left where, over the steepest cliff I've ever seen, was water barely distinguishable through the fog ... off to the right were nothing but "Beware of Falling Rock" signs!  (Not for the weak of heart.)  When we finally reached an area where you could pull over and explore a little bit, I went into the rangers' office to see how much more of this winding one lane highway was ahead ... it would be getting dark soon ... and he said, "You're not going to throw up all over my shoes, are you?  'Cause if you ARE, you won't be the first one today to do so."  Rather than face these roads in even LESS visibility, we instead opted for a more "in-land" route for most of the rest of the way into L.A. ... through Gilroy, the garlic capitol of the world ... now that's a town that, next to Gary, Indiana, I won't forget the smell of anytime soon!  (LOL)  After hearing SO much about BIG SUR (between my BOBBY DARIN research and the romantic ravings of AL JARDINE of THE BEACH BOYS), we just HAD to see it for ourselves ... truthfully, I feel I'd have to see it again under different circumstances to truly appreciate it!

Bobby Darin has always been one of my favorite artists (I'm at least a decade older than you guys) and I had the good fortune of interviewing Dick Clark in 1979 for an hour. One of the first subjects that we started talking about was Bobby Darin. Dick said way back then that the Bobby Darin story would shock people and that he was going to produce the story. It has amazed me that it took this long for the story to come to fruition. This story, if told properly, is going to be as good as the Ray Charles story, which leaves nothing out -- good or bad -- about the artist.
Danny Guilfoyle

Oooh!  I can't wait.  I've been hearing about Bobby Darin all my life.  My Mom was fascinated by him.  She read a couple of bios and would tell me about him.  He's as much a part of my childhood lore as the Black Dahlia and Alan Ladd (my Mom had a thing for tragic characters).    


Thank you Kent, you did great job ... I loved reading it!! LuEyes

Just had to tell ya what an awesome read the Bobby Darin Story is so far ... I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Thanks for all your time & effort  :)      

Love Bobby ... and thank you so much for your stuff.



Kent ... 

A really good series on Bobby Darin ... very interesting stuff ... very beefy ... am enjoying learning about Darin ... one of my favs from that time. : )   

I just finished the Darin piece and it's excellent.  What a guy - can't wait to see the movie!

Thanks for everything you sent!  It's obvious you put a lot of time and effort into this project.  We certainly appreciate all your efforts and have worked up the announcement for your newsletter on Bobby's site.  

Thanks again for all you've done!
Best regards,
Bobbysgirls /

The Official Fan Site For Bobby Darin
Thank you very much ... your help made it a much better article.  And I guess I should correct my "credits" here to read: LINDA JOHNSON and BOBBYSGIRLS.  (LINDA is the webmaster for and and should be separate from BOBBYSGIRLS ... a group of five gals who help to maintain the website.) Additional thanks to STEVE BLAUNER and JIMMY SCALIA, who also helped us out thanks to the website ... and to MFPING who directed us to LINDA and the website in the first place.  Additional thanks to THEONEBUFF who supplied a couple of the wavs used in this series ... and to THEBCMAN who helped us revive the JOHN SEBASTIAN chapter from an earlier piece we did in FORGOTTEN HITS ... and to BRITINVLVR and DAJOHUD (who tried to get us statements from ... respectively ... TIM HAUSER of MANHATTAN TRANSFER and the incomparable BURTON CUMMINGS of THE GUESS WHO ... HAUSER performed MACK THE KNIFE at the official ATLANTIC RECORDS' 40th Anniversary Bash in BOBBY's honor several years ago and BURTON is himself a HUGE BOBBY DARIN fan ... unfortunately, the planets simply were not aligned in time for this to happen ... my NEW goal is to get this series read by DODD DARIN and KEVIN SPACEY!!!) ... and to everyone else who loved the series ... hopefully, I'll have the next one ready to go in less than 37 years!  (kk)

Kent .. 

Thank you sooo much for this wonderful tribute to a great entertainer, Bobby Darin.  As you already know, I've always been a HUGE fan, even to this day.  His death was a great loss to the music world and in general due to his humanitarian side as well as being the talented individual he was. 
Due to the fact that I was brought up on Big Band Era recordings as well as old standards, he held a special appeal for me; That and his ability to venture into new areas (as well as old) without a second thought.  He was truly never afraid to take chances on what he believed in musically. 
I will always remember him as he wished to be remembered and that being "A good person and a great entertainer".  Again, thanks for this great bio of his life.

Well, it's been a long time comin' ... but hopefully worth the wait!  Coming from a major BOBBY DARIN fan, I'm glad you enjoyed the series!  (kk)

Just want to say thank you for your wonderful work.  I have enjoyed each segment.  What a year this is for Bobby Darin fans.  Thanks for your part in it.
Reina Riley

I am enjoying your current articles on Bobby Darin. I've always had a little known obsession about him. I think it may be because somewhere around 1962 / 1963 I was given my very first "stereo!" Along with this I got two LP's, Vaughn Meador's "First Family," which I played till the grooves where gone, if that is possible. The other was Bobby Darin's "This Is Darin." I "NEVER" opened that LP!!! and still have it safely stored in mint condition with many other vinyl's. Maybe because I chose not to play it, I feel some type of "betrayal" to what I have since found to be a music legend. Several years ago I saw a TV special on his life, watching it with eyes glued to the TV. :-)
So thank you for this glimpse into his life and music.

Just to let you know ... I find this series as interesting as the CCR piece you ran.   Great job, so far!!  I've been riveted.  


It was awesome!  Thank you so much.

I admire how well you put these things together ...
you're the best
if I haven't said it lately ... 

Thank you very much for all you do

"Thanks, Daddio ... and special thanks to everybody who dug it!!!"  he said, fingers snapping.  (kk)

I just wanted to say what a great job you did with the Bobby Darrin series, thank you! I enjoyed it very much.
Take care

Thanks so much for doing your feature on Bobby Darin and sending it out (again) to his fans!
We love hearing all your background info on Bobby.

I don't want to miss anything from such an awesome series !!!  Thanks so much for sending,

Hi Kent ... 

Your biographical information about Bobby has kept me glued to my seat ... never know what you will say next ... I read somewhere that there is a movie (tv or motion picture) being made about his life ... When I was eight one of the first records I bought was "Beyond the Sea" ... so I am a fan from way back when ... never knew all of this stuff ... also wanted to say that cable tv (VH1 or E True Hollywood Story) had a special about him awhile back ... well thanks for the info ... I will keep on reading and rocking too! : )        Blossmwrld

Great series, I enjoyed reading and learning about Bobby Darin.  In fact I forwarded the articles on to some of my friends at work.  Thanks for such an interesting and informative series.  

Love ya!

I am loving your series on Bobby Darin ... great job on all accounts!!   


FANTASTIC JOB {{{{{{ KENT }}}}}}}} 

I thoroughly enjoyed every word of it!
~~ Debi ~~

Great job!  I enjoyed every mailing :)

Really enjoyed the Bobby Darin story.  Thanks again.
Karaoke6699 (Judy)

Hi Kent,
I have been a lurker on the 60s shop list for a while now and decided it's time for me to join in the comments.
The Bobby Darin series is awesome!  I began to read them as they came in (1 - 8) but got behind so I saved the rest and and am reading them now.  His story is fascinating and your writing skills aren't bad, either! I want to express my thanks to you for taking the time to maintain The60sshop.  I'm a child of the 50s and *came of age* in the 60s so I really enjoy your writing and comments.   I only wish I could read some of the earlier stuff I missed by not being on this list.  like Beatles?  British Invasion?  Eagles?  

Good stuff - keep it on!
PennyLane       xo

Your job on the Bobby Darin story was excellent.  K

eep'em coming!

I have enjoyed your series very much. I love Bobby Darin and have been a fan for quite a while.  I'm learning a lot.

Hey {{{{{{{{{{{Kent}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
I just needed to tell you what a fine job you did with the Bobby Darin Mailings ... I loved every minute of all 24 Parts ... You are simply amazing, my friend
My Chiropractor is a BIG Bobby Darin Fan and I forwarded all parts for his reading pleasure ... needless to say, he was very impressed.
God Bless my friend  and stay well ...


Picked up the new issue of Mojo magazine. It has a great article on Bobby Darin. I don't think it covers any ground that you didn't touch on before.           

And I'm guessing nowhere NEAR as in depth!  (lol)  Of course I haven't seen it ... but based on the responses we've received thus far, I'm inclined to think that we really nailed it with this one!  (kk)

Thanks {{{{{{{{{Kent}}}}}}}}}}} for your great series on Bobby Darin.  He has always been a fave of mine and I learned so much more about him.           


One question:  Will "The Bobby Darin Opus" be available in hard-cover in time for Christmas gift buying?
In all seriousness, if FH stopped tomorrow, I believe that it would be finished with an incredible exclamation point by your having issued the greatest example of your work. Darin was an incredible series. I cannot imagine how much work you put into it. Great writing! Great songs!
I can't say "thank you" enough!
Steve Sarley

Coming from another writer (and media personality) that's high-praise indeed.  Thanks, Steve.  (Actually, I thought this might make a fitting "swan song" ... but I think I still got one or two left in me ... yeah, I know ... that's exactly what MUHAMMAD ALI said, too.) kk

Kent ...

I can't even begin to express my appreciation for this wonderful series on the life of the legendary Bobby Darin.  This, not only due to my lifelong admiration of him as an entertainer, but also for the wonderful way this series was put together by yourself and your collaborators.  You didn't just write a fluffy summation but rather a poignant, cut to the chase portrayal of a truly remarkable yet sometimes misunderstood entertainer, which is exactly what he was.  I have printed and kept every segment of this article and will truly treasure it.  I know the work and research must've been very tiring at times but the end result was truly a Igem.  Again.. Thanks.        
Printed it out?!?!?  Printed it out?!?!?!  What ... with the Hardcover Edition coming out in time for Christmas?!?!?!?  Thanks for the kind words!  I know you're a MAJOR BOBBY DARIN fan so that means a lot coming from you.  (kk)


Your research, recording and articulation are remarkable. As a lover of great journalism, I offer you my most heartfelt applause.
Phil  (CaloToonz)

Thank you very much ... the series has been very well-received and I'm quite proud of it!  (kk)


I am amazed at the extensive knowledge you have found on Bobby Darin. These are some very interesting pieces you have taken the time to put together ... 
Thank you for your time and energy!   
Well, as I said from the very beginning ... how much is TOO much ... but I certainly did research the heck outta this one!!!  (kk)


Well, thank you, Mr. and Mrs. GoHawks!  Now be a sweet hubby and take her to see the movie!!!  (kk)

I had no idea Bobby Darin was so interesting!  You've done a wonderful job on this - thanks!

Exactly my point in doing this ... I didn't know either until I did the research ... he had a pretty amazing career for a guy who lived just 37 years!  And, I wanted others on the list to discover this ... and some great music ... too! (kk)

Wow ... Kent ... 

You have outdone yourself this time ... an incredible 22 part story on Bobby Darin's life story ... Really interesting stuff ... I didnt know all that he had to go through to perform on stage with his heart condition ... a very talented performer and singer ... sad that he died so young ... I was glued to your stories ... Darin's struggle to live and to be successfulwas quite a remarkable story ... I have learned much. 
Thanks Kent!.     

You did an incredible job with the Bobby Darin series.  I plan on downloading all the tunes this weekend.  Are you putting FH to rest after this year?  I thought I remember you saying you were going to.  

It's a tough call ... it was always the intention to shut things down here on the 5th Anniversary of FORGOTTEN HITS (which is next weekend) ... but after a piece like the BOBBY DARIN series, I feel inspired to knock out one or two more of these.  If I can keep it at a manageable rate (once a month or so) I may keep things going for just a little while longer.  When it becomes TOO time-consuming again, I'll probably call it a day.  (Had thought about holding the BOBBY DARIN piece as my final swan song ... but wanted to get it out before the movie opened!!!  Now I gotta come up with another goodie!!!)  kk

UPDATE:  Incredible to think that I was really ready to throw in the towel and shutter the doors back in 2003!  Now, here it is, 13 years later and we're still going strong ... and still be discovered by brand new readers every single day.  (We must be doing SOMETHING right!!!)
Please take the time to read what very well have could have been The Forgotten Hits Opus back in 2003 ... regardless of how you look at it, our Bobby Darin Series still stands on its own as one of our finest pieces of work, highly praised to this day.  Enjoy!  (kk)

I can't top the praises that  I have  read on  the  Bobby Darin  series.
“Outstanding“ …. “Stupendous“ …. “Astonishing“ …. “Absolutely Brilliant“ …. are just a few phrases to describe the Totally Awesome job you did on the Bobby Darin series.
I read, but don't offer much in  comment, but this time I can't  pass up the opportunity to voice my praises for you ... You do  it for Love of  Music ... not the accolades.
Ron's In a Coma

Click here: Beyond The Sea: The legend of Bobby Darin
See what you started?  <G>           JO201

That was one hell of a series Kent!!

Hello Kent,
Congratulations on the success of your series!!  It is an amazing tribute to Bobby.  As great Bobby fans we applauded your dedication and your hard work.  We want to thank you for sending your series to us.  We have all enjoyed reading your e-mails.
The feedback from your readers is wonderful to hear.  But, due to the lack of space in our bobbysgirls account we were wondering if you would like to invite your readers to join our Darin e-mail list, so they might post their impressions there, for all our members to enjoy.  If you like that idea here's the link:
We've had a great deal of Darin news lately about "Beyond the Sea" along with concert dates for Kevin Spacey ... all archived for any member to read.  We're sure your readers would appreciate the information.  Here is the link:
Perhaps you might like to join us, too.
Thanks again for sharing your series and especially for keeping information out there for the fans. 

Anyone interested in posting comments regarding our series to the OFFICIAL BOBBY DARIN WEBSITE can follow the above links to do so ... my hope is that, once the movie opens, several new DARIN fans will check out our FORGOTTEN HITS feature.  (kk)

You did an incredible job on this project.  My hat is off to you.
Rich  ^5

I just finished reading your 24 part series on Bobby Darin and had to let you know how amazing it was.  Most of Darin's stuff was before my time, and aside from 'Mack the Lnife', I had never really been exposed to much of it.  Frankly, I wasn't a fan. 
But, since reading your series, I feel like I knew him personally!  You really rolled up your sleeves and dived into this one, Kent.  You took a subject that I couldn't have cared less about and turned him into someone that, for 24 emails, I couldn't wait to read more about. 
I've told you before that I thought your series on the Mamas and Papas, as well as the Beatles series, were two of your most memorable and shining moments in Forgotten Hits.  Now I am adding a third.   I havent read any further pieces, but can't even imagine how you could top this.   Once again, you've blown me away.

Wow!!! Thank you very much for the kind words ... I  felt that BOBBY DARIN led a fascinating life and that the story needed to be exposed to a wider audience who typecast him as that finger-poppin' Vegas guy who just wanted to be FRANK SINATRA.  Hopefully, along the way, I could introduce a new audience to some of his otherwise great, unheard music ... and, based on the comments that followed that series, it looks like I succeeded.  THIS is what makes doing FORGOTTEN HITS all worthwhile!!!  Thanks again!  (kk)

Thank you for such an incredible view of Bobby Darin and his life.  That was a tremendous amount of information and you must have spent a huge amount of time on the research.   I have my mother's old record albums and I still play the Bobby Darin one that was her favorite.   "The Shadow of Your Smile" .  That was her favorite song in the mid 60's and she bought covers of that song recorded by EVERYONE.  My favorite song on that Bobby Darin album is "The Sweetheart Tree".  She always played that when I was somewhere around 5 or 6 years old and I've never forgotten how it touched me.  Thanks again, Kent.  I really enjoy reading all your mails.
- Cheryl -

We featured THE SWEETHEART TREE several years ago in FORGOTTEN HITS ... incredibly, at the time I had never heard the song before!!!  Several folks on the list (including my brother ... who used to play it in a wedding band!!!) sent it in to share with our list ... and we included it again today as one of our COMMENTS PAGE Bonus Wavs!  Glad you enjoyed the series ... looks like this one went over pretty big!!!  And, speaking of my brother ... I just got THIS email:

“Outstanding“ …. “Stupendous“ …. “Astonishing“ …. “Absolutely Brilliant“ …. are just a few phrases to describe the Totally Awesome job you did on the Bobby Darin series.
One could expect NO LESS, from the folks at The 60’s Shop / Forgotten Hits.
This is, without a doubt (in my opinion), one of the most interesting, most complete series, that you have done so far. This one had me checking my E-box each day, much like someone checks their regular mailbox, for their IRS Tax Return! It is SO very obvious … the hours, the days, the weeks, and perhaps the months … it took to compile this “Mega-Ton Of Profoundly Defined Information“. Sharing such a collection with your readers, was not only extremely generous, but very thoughtful … and MUCH appreciated. Keep up the GREAT WORK!!
Bravo, Bro!


Thank you.

For ENDING it??? Or for DOING it????   LOL  (kk)
I loved it. words fail me.    Hil

WOW. That was an awesome series on Bobby Darin! While admittedly not much of a fan of the show-biz nightclub Bobby Darin persona (although I love Beyond The Sea -- remember that commercial with the two beach babes strolling by to that tune?), I admired Darin's 'Folk phase' -- I recall seeing a denim-clad Darin on TV during that time, and liked him best during that period of his career. However, I've now gained tremendous respect for this performer, who, knowing he was destined to die young, possessed a truly remarkable drive for success. His life and career truly had a sense of urgency about it, and serves as an inspiration -- this cat sure left his mark and accomplished a great deal during his brief 37 years on this Earth. What a legacy.
His life reminds me of a line I heard recited in a Willie Nelson biography. I don't know if the words are from a song or not, but it goes:
' When it's time to leave this world for a better home someday, the only thing you get to keep is what you gave away.'
And Bobby Darin gave it his all.
I figured I'd save a few wavs after listening to them all -- I ended up keeping 20 BD wavs, my personal favorites including Beyond The Sea (both versions), If I Were A Carpenter, Queen Of The Hop, the Dream Lover demo, Reason To Believe, Simple Song Of Freedom, Rock Island Line (with interview), Darling Be Home Soon, the hits covered by British Invasion acts -- a little of everything spanning his career. Lovin' You was a little reminiscent of Leon Redbone!
The cover songs were good, too -- I especially dug Buddy Holly's Early In The Morning (never knew BD wrote that!) and was pleasantly surprised to hear Moritat by The Dick Hyman Trio - I remember some easy-listening radio station here always used to play that as its theme song at the top of the hour.
The DC5 version of You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby is killer. Heck, even the Pat Boone 'surf song' is listenable, lol.
The John Sebastian and McGuinn connections were interesting; the Darin - Tim Hardin song 'turnabout' fascinating.
I now wish I'd had the chance to see Bobby Darin perform (especially after having seen Wayne Newton perform in Branson, Mo., lol).
I think I would've thoroughly enjoyed seeing BD.
It's evident a lot of effort went into this labor of love. You initially made reference to Brian Wilson's Smile, in regard to having begun this massive project so long ago and abandoning it several times along the way. Well, this was no Smile ... this was your Pet Sounds. 

Your best series. 
Thanks much.                                                                                                                                                                                               ~ RockaBob
Damn ... what a review!!!  Thanks for the kind words.  

I was hoping people would actually LISTEN to the variety of wavs along the way to see just what a diverse talent BOBBY DARIN truly was.  He made a fan out of me, too ... the more I learned about the man, the more I wanted to listen to his music.  Can't wait to see the movie.  (Now all we gotta do is finish up the SAM COOKE series!!!!!) kk

In regards to RockaBob's comments,  FYI, and his When it's time to leave this world for a better home someday, the only thing you get to keep is what you gave away.' It is a song, it was done by Francis Dunnery and appears on his 2001 Album Man. the name of the song is "The Only Thing You Get To Keep"
Francis was the onetime frontman of the progressive rock group It Bites.             

Thanks, Cheryl ... I've passed this info on to ROCKABOB ... and now, to the whole list!!!  (kk)

Hi Kent ...
Just found out that new Kevin Spacey movie, Beyond the Sea, which just came out today is playing in a limited engagement in this area...Hope I can get to see the movie without having to go into NYC.
If you see it, please give us your review.  Hope I can see it before it goes to video tape/dvd.
Take care.  
Yes, BEYOND THE SEA opened as "a limited engagement" in New York City and Los Angeles on the 17th ... it opens in "wide release" on the 29th.  (Maybe something to do with qualifying for Oscar consideration??? I dunno!)   kk

 >>In order to qualify for the current year nominations, movies have to open by a certain date in New York City and Los Angeles, even if they only play for one week, close, and then go into wide release a month or so later.

Preliminary reviews that I've read are not so good ... KEVIN SPACEY is too OLD to play BOBBY DARIN at all ages ... the idea that the flashback concept means you never forget that you're just "watching a movie" ... (I don't get THAT review ... if you're sitting in a movie theater with a bunch of people and don't realize that you're watching a movie you've probably forgotten where you parked your car, too!!!)  Another complaint I've read is that the movie ignores SANDRA DEE's childhood abuse at the hands of her stepfather, passes over her bout with anorexia, and barely hints at her alcoholism.  Seems to me these would ALL be topics that would and should be explored in a SANDRA DEE bio-pic ... but this is the BOBBY DARIN story!!!  Anyway, I figured that I'd wait until a few folks on the list had seen the movie and then put out a FH Mass Review ... so THAT's what you're reading today!!! (kk)

FYI ... 

I saw it on Friday night in defiance of the poor reception it got from the critics. If you ask me, the critics were kind. The movie SUCKED. BIG TIME.             
It doesn't open here until the 29th ... but I've just GOTTA go see it!!!  (Watch for MY review at the end of these comments!)  kk

Seems like EVERYONE is weighing in with their opinion of this movie ... even our little "almost nine" year old daughter wanted to write a review of BEYOND THE SEA:

Hi! My name is Paige and I'm eight, well, going to turn nine.  Well, enough about me. Lets talk about "Beyond The Sea."  This time I didn't agree with the critics.  I thought Kevin Spacey was amazing in the movie.  I just loved the music and I gave it an eight.  I don't want to tell you the whole story of the movie, but it was shocking that who he thought was his mother was wasn't her … it was really his Grandmother!  All this time he thought he had a sister, but he didn't … he thought that his sister was his sister but it wasn't his sister … she was really his mother!  When he was very young, he had rheumatic fever and that weakened his heart.  He was not expected to live past fifteen, but he did.  Later, he fell in love with Sandra Dee.  One day, they got married but they used to have a lot of fights.  One time they were so mad at each other that they started to pack their bags as fast as they could to see who could get to their car first so that they could tell people that they left the other person.  Bobby's car wouldn't start but Sandra Dee was already driving away.  Bobby was so mad that he got out of his car and got a golf club and smashed up his beautiful car.  But then Sandra Dee drove back to the house and saw him crying.  Later, Sandra Dee started to drink at every performance.  They also had a child named Dodd but Bobby wasn't really home that much because he had to sing.  I used to only know "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin but now I know lots of his songs and I really like "Beyond The Sea" and "Mack The Knife."  (We even have a special dance that we do for "Mack The Knife!")  We watch lots of specials of Bobby Darin now.  I think that other people should go and see this movie, especially if you like good, jazzy, oldies music.  If you're going to go see this movie, buy tickets now!!!  

Paige Brantley 
I have to admit that I had some concerns about BEYOND THE SEA holding the attention span of an "almost nine" year old
child ... but she LOVED it!!!  (Gave it a higher score than I did!)  I prepped her with a little bit of the BOBBY DARIN story ahead of time so she'd have some idea of what his career was all about ... but kept secret just enough information to watch her jaw drop when BOBBY's "sister" told him the truth.  She was already familiar with a couple of DARIN's tunes ... how could she NOT be hangin' around with us!!! ... but came away LOVING the song BEYOND THE SEA.  ("I think I'm gonna have to get that song.")  LOL.

Hi, Kent ~
Nice to hear from you again!
Here are our collective thoughts on the movie.  Feel free to share them with your email list.
We are extremely happy that this film has been made and that the spotlight is once again back where it belongs ... on BOBBY!  BEYOND THE SEA deals with many aspects of Bobby's life and career, but it only touches the tip of the iceberg!  We are hoping that people will see the film and want more. And, as you and your readers know, there is so much MORE to Bobby's life and his music.  We feel that the musical arrangements were outstanding and were elated when we heard that Mr. Spacey had been granted permission to use Bobby's originals.  The feedback that we have been receiving is extremely positive. To our great delight, the interest in Bobby Darin has soared to new heights! 
Steve Blauner, Bobby's long time manager / friend, summed it up beautifully on Larry King Live, "I think that this is Bobby's immortality. Long after we're all gone and our children's children's children ... there will still be people watching this movie and Bobby will live forever, thanks to Kevin."
We couldn't agree more!!!
Happy New Year!
And Best wishes,
Linda & Bobbysgirls

After everyone raved about "Ray", the word was that "Beyond the Sea" did not compare. Since I'm a huge Bobby Darin fan, and armed with all the info I gathered from forgotten hits - I went anyway. I thought Kevin Spacey had him right on! I loved his singing. I found the movie very well done. During the scene where they were dancing in the street, I had flashbacks of the Sharks and Jets gang fighting in West Side Story! And I had to laugh when the young Bobby made the comment about it being a fantasy number!  I think parts like that lightened up the movie. Where Ray was the true nitty gritty story, I found this more entertaining. The only thing that bothered me was that the actress playing Sandra Dee was the spitting image of Jessica Simpson. Ewww!!       

No question about it ... RAY was VERY well done ... and JAMIE FOXX deserves all the accolades he's receiving ... the stories were told in VERY different ways ... and FOXX was made to look EXACTLY like RAY CHARLES (in my opinion, he BECAME RAY CHARLES in the film.)  However, I do have to question how much acting is involved when one simply lip-syncs to someone else's voice.  (See attached video clip courtesy of regular FH contributor RENFIELD ... too funny!!!)  KEVIN SPACEY did all the moves and all the singing himself ... and, I think, pulled it off brilliantly.  When you hear some of this stuff on the radio now, you KNOW that it's not BOBBY DARIN ... but it's pretty damn close!  (In hindsight, I wish we had seen the HOUSE OF BLUES performance that he did here ... be interesting to see how he pulled it off LIVE.)

>>>Hey, have you noticed (now that the movie is finally out) how much they're playing BEYOND THE SEA on the airwaves again???  Did anybody else catch SHANNON, the blond girl on LOST, singing LA MER the other night?!?!?  And, the fact that BEYOND THE SEA is now used ... over and over and over again ... in the CARNIVAL CRUISE commercials?!?!?  And the fact that it's now played on the radio again about six or seven times a day?!?!?  And, the fact that I can't get it out of my head no matter HOW hard I try or how much other music I play?!?!?!?
Hi Kent 

I read or heard somewhere that Mr. Paul McCartney owns all of the rights and royalties to the song, Beyond the Sea ... Ask Paul about why they are playing it so much ... just kidding! : )   
Well, that's good to know ... 'cause from what I understand, he REALLY needs the money!  (kk)

Hi Kent, 

I gotta add my two cent review of 'beyond the sea".
I am a Bobby Darin fan (fan, not fanatic) and in general I love orchestral arrangements that feature good brass. 
Anyway, this movie was a pleasant surprise for me. It wasn't a bio and it wasn't a full-blown musical.  It was a sort of 'tweener' and I thoroughly enjoyed it:)   It showed the highlights of Bobbys life with enough information given for things to make sense.  I also saw "Ray" and while I loved that movie also, there is one thing I liked better about 'beyond the sea".   In "beyond the sea", the songs were featured in their entirety as compared to "Ray" where most if not all the songs were only taken halfway through before the scene changed. 
My favorite song scene in this movie ... "Artificial Flowers"  by far !  
I'd go see it again :)

We saw Beyond The Sea last weekend. Loved it! Kevin Spacey should get some Academy Award nominations for this (he'll be up against the stars ofAviator and Ray, so that'll be interesting). Spacey was brilliant. This movie was apparently a labor of love and perhaps his defining career role, as he's wanted to do it for years. The digital sound was GREAT, and Spacey sings the Darin songs quite well. I loved this movie and would see it again. I especially loved the Beyond The Sea choreographed bit, where he woos Sandra Dee. The movie flowed nicely and left you wanting more after it ended (like a good concert). I saw Spacey, Dodd Darin and Bobby's manager on Larry King Live last night and it was quite interesting (Dodd loved the flick, too). I also saw a Larry King interview with some of Elvis' old Memphis Mafia guys the other night, and it was mentioned that Elvis was a big Bobby Darin fan, too, and at one point during Darin's folk phase the King told Darin he should go back to his lounge act persona and sing Mack The Knife. And the day I read your email I saw the Carnival Cruise commercial, lol. I highly recommend Beyond The Sea. I probably wouldn't have seen this flick if it hadn't been for your great Darin series. A lot of what you discussed was covered in the movie. Five stars!       Bob

We thought about going to see it again, too ... but my guess is that it won't be in theaters for very long ... it's not doing much box office.  (I always figured there'd be a limited audience for this film but, from what I've read, after three weeks in wide release, the movie had only grossed $2 Million.  That's OK ... we'll just get the DVD!   (Hopefully, lots of extras!)  In fact, the RAY DVD comes out February 1st already!!!  Can't wait ... RAY CHARLES worked VERY closely with JAMIE FOXX during the making of this film and my hope is that some of that was captured for posterity!   (kk)


Well, I have to admit that after doing ALL this reseach on BOBBY DARIN's life, I went into the movie theater not expecting much based on all of the negative reviews I had read.  I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised (see, maybe lowering your expectations really DOES keep you from being disappointed so often!!!).  I think that KEVIN SPACEY set the film up perfectly, explaining why he was appearing at his current age throughout the film ... and I really like the way he made it look like an old-time musical, staging big production numbers at the drop of a hat.  His musical performances were exceptional ... DARIN's music never sounded so good.  (Film Critic ROGER EBERT told SPACEY that he probably had a better voice than DARIN's!!!)  In hindsight, I wish we would have checked him out at THE HOUSE OF BLUES when he performed here a couple of weeks ago.  The movie took some liberties with the story and the sequence of events in DARIN's life ... as evidenced by the HUGE disclaimer shown at the end of the film ... but the basic story got told in an entertaining way.  (I must admit that three or four scenes were WAY over the top but I still give the movie a 7 1/2 ... and there were also three or four scenes that emotionally moved me as well as any other film I've ever seen ... I will DEFINITELY get the DVD once it becomes available, as I can see myself watching this film again and again.)  SPACEY's admiration for BOBBY DARIN shows throughout the film (most of BOBBY's abusive cockiness was never even explored!)  Instead, we get a glimpse at the driven performer who made the most of his short time here with us on earth.  Our PBS Station ran a one hour BOBBY DARIN concert on New Year's Eve and it was interesting to see the REAL BOBBY DARIN perform after having just seen the KEVIN SPACEY rendition.  Our theater was PACKED for the opening-day performance and the audience cheered and applauded at the end of the movie ... something I hadn't seen since SEABISCUIT ... and I couldn't even tell you the time before that!  I'm glad that I was able to share my version of the BOBBY DARIN story with so many folks on line and believe that most will come away with a higher opinion of this man's talents. (kk)   

This year's ACADEMY AWARDS nominees were announced this morning (January the 25th) and it certainly seems to be RAY CHARLES' year, not BOBBY DARIN's!!!  (FORGOTTEN HITS did in-depth features on BOTH of these artists last year.)  It's rare to have TWO musical bio-pics cause so much attention in the same year.  (Even rarer in that DARIN once cut an entire LP of RAY CHARLES songs!!!)  We'll have to wait to see what happens when the awards are handed out (the ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, February 27th), but those "in the know" seem to universally feel that this is JAMIE FOXX's year.  (He's also nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his appearance in COLLATERAL with TOM CRUISE ... two EXCELLENT dramatic roles ... not bad for a stand-up comic!!!)

BEYOND THE SEA opened as "a limited engagement" in New York City and Los Angeles on the 17th ... it opens in "wide release" on the 29th.  (Maybe something to do with qualifying for Oscar consideration??? I dunno!) 

In order to qualify for the current year nominations, movies have to open by a certain date in New York City and Los Angeles, even if they only play for one week, close, and then go into wide release a month or so later.       


I'd like to amend my rating of the Beyond The Sea movie -- why I found it enjoyable, I don't believe it's a '5-star' flick, but more like 3-1/2 stars (good). The movie Ray is far better I think. I think Ray will prove to have much broader appeal, where the Darin flick will be best enjoyed by Bobby Darin fans.      


>>>No question about it ... RAY was VERY well done ... and JAMIE FOXX deserves all the accolades he's receiving ... the stories were told in VERY different ways ... and FOXX was made to look EXACTLY like RAY CHARLES (in my opinion, he BECAME RAY CHARLES in the film.)  However, I do have to question how much acting is involved when one simply lip-syncs to someone else's voice.  kk
Interesting point you raise here. Audrey Hepburn's performance as Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady" was overlooked by Oscar in 1964; many felt that Hepburn's dubbed vocals cost her the nomination. Natalie Wood, who I thought kicked ass in "West Side Story," was also dubbed and snubbed by Oscar. (Wood did get nominated that same year for the inferior "Splendor In The Grass.")
Dubbed vocal performances that earned nominations don't have a have a winning track record: out of the five I came up with off the top of my head, the only winner was Rita Moreno for "West Side Story". (Who were the others? Susan Hayward for "With A Song In My Heart", Dorothy Dandridge for "Carmen Jones", Eleanor Parker for "Interrupted Melody" and Deborah Kerr for "The King and I". If I weren't pressed for time, I'd go through all the nominees to see who I've forgotten.)
Lip-synching is no easy feat; you don't just get up there and move your mouth. You have to understand the mechanics of singing (when to take a breath, what happens with the vocal cords, etc.) to make it look real. If you're a singer, you have an innate understanding of the process. If you're lip-synching to your own vocals, you have an emotional and physical connection to the song. If you're not a singer, you have to master the mechanics, find a way to connect with the song, and convince the audience that you're singing it. I'm no actor, but I'd think that's more, not less, of an acting challenge. (Just for the record, most musical performances in movies are lip-synched whether or not the singing voice actually belongs to the onscreen performer.)         


>>>Natalie Wood, who I thought kicked ass in "West Side Story," was also dubbed and snubbed by Oscar. (Wood did get nominated that same year for the inferior "Splendor In The Grass.")    MFPing
I have to disagree here lol Wood's performance in "Splendor in the Grass" was more captivating than her role as Maria in "West Side Story". Natalie is charming in whatever she does but I think the academy noticed her for "Splendor in the Grass" because a) she went a little crazy and b) she got a little nekkid (remember the bath tub scene?). I think that no matter how many years have passed, the academy always likes to award those actors that go insane in movies or at least have a break-down. Hollywood, go figure!
Glad to see you guys are back, btw. Can't wait!! :)
- Hope

I've watched WEST SIDE STORY more times than I can count and TOTALLY have accepted NATALIE WOOD in the role of MARIA ... perhaps it's because the story is so well done that you lose sight of the fact that she's not really singing ... to me, that's just good movie making.  I've never seen SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS but will have to check it out ... or, at the very least, the bath tub scene!  (kk)

On Sunday, February 20th, we lost SANDRA DEE.  (This excerpt is from CNN):    

Actress Sandra Dee dies
Death follows treatment for kidney disease, pneumonia
Sunday, February 20, 2005 Posted: 5:11 PM EST (2211 GMT)
Sandra Dee portrayed a nurse's helper in "Tammy and the Doctor."
Obituaries (Entertainment)
Sandra Dee
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- Actress Sandra Dee died Sunday at a California hospital, her son told CNN.
Dodd Darin, the son of the late singer Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, said his mother died at 6 a.m. (9 a.m. ET) in Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, California, where she had been treated for 14 days for complications from kidney disease and pneumonia.
Darin said his mother was 63, though a number of movie Web sites put her birth date variously at April 23, 1942, and April 23, 1944, which would have made her 62 or 60.
Dee was born Alexandra Zuck in Bayonne, New Jersey. Her mother often lied about her age to help her get ahead in work and school, according to the Web site Internet Movie Database.
Work as a model by age 12 led to television commercials and, at age 14, a role in the movie "Until They Sailed," which was released in 1957, the site said.
The next year she was signed to "The Reluctant Debutante" and "The Restless Years."
In 1959, the teenage heartthrob won roles in five productions. "Gidget" and "A Summer Place" proved the most popular.
In 1960, she appeared in "Portrait in Black" and married Darin.
In rapid succession came roles in "Come September," "Romanoff and Juliet," "Tammy Tell Me True" and its 1963 sequel, "Tammy and the Doctor."
But the latter films fared poorly and the offers began to wane.
For the next few years, she did one movie per year: "I'd Rather be Rich" in 1964, "That Funny Feeling" in 1965, "A Man Could Get Killed" in 1966, "Doctor, You've Got to be Kidding" in 1967 -- the year she and Darin divorced -- and "Rosie!" in 1968.
Her movie career was largely finished by the time she was 26, according to the Web site's biography.
In 1970, Sandra won a role in "The Dunwich Horror" and, during that decade, made four television movies.
As her star diminished, she battled anorexia, alcoholism and depression, the Web site says.
Her last film, "Lost," was produced in 1983.
Dee was diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure in 2000. She is survived by her son and two granddaughters, Alexa and Olivia, according to the Web site.
She was portrayed by actress Kate Bosworth last year in "Beyond the Sea," which starred Kevin Spacey as Bobby Darin. (Full story)

AFTERTHOUGHTS:  It's interesting to me, re-reading this entire BOBBY DARIN series now that it's going out for the third time, to think back on putting this whole thing together so many years ago ... all the research that went into this project ... listening to all the music recorded by DARIN during the course of his career ... and, quite truthfully approaching this whole project with little knowledge or appreciation for that career ... how much I've come to love the music of BOBBY DARIN.  (Even more amazing is how closely the movie follows the story presented over this past month in FORGOTTEN HITS ... considering that the movie hadn't even been released yet the first time this mailing was sent out!!!  Damn ... I feel like I could have helped WRITE the screenplay!!!)  Hopefully you've enjoyed our series and, if you haven't already seen the film, will at least be inspired (or curious enough) to check it out.  If you like the concept of FORGOTTEN HITS, drop us a line and we'll add you to our regular mailing list.  (There are always new projects in the works, spotlighting great songs and artists often overlooked by today's oldies radio.)  We'd love to hear from you and encourage you to share YOUR thoughts and memories with the rest of our musical mailing list. 

I'm normally a day late and a dollar short with repsonses; this time, it's more like a month late and twenty bucks short.
Back when you ran people's reviews of "Beyond The Sea", I was completely stunned at the across-the-board high marks given to that truly criminal waste of celluloid, time and money. (Based on those reviews, the movie must have been remade, or at least re-edited, between the time I saw it and the time it went into general release; as far as I was concerned, it was one of the ten worst films of 2004.) Immediately after reading the email, I composed one of my long-winded rebuttals but never got around to editing and sending it.
Part of my rant offered praise to your daughter's review of "Beyond The Sea". Her enthusiasm for the subject and her writing style made me grin from ear to ear, and was probably the best thing associated with the movie. (Spacey should have hired her to do publicity for it.) I've been meaning to get back to you on that point for a while. Please let her know how much I enjoyed it.

 A quick little THANK YOU to those of you on he list who sent us your reviews on the new KEVIN SPACEY / BOBBY DARIN bio-pic BEYOND THE SEA ... as promised, we're running some of those this weekend ... and will include these reviews as part of a brand new COMMENTS PAGE when
the DARIN series starts running again through the website at the end of the month.

We can't do BEYOND THE SEA reviews and NOT mention his version of the beautiful ballad THAT'S ALL ... which BOBBY crucified in his Vegas-showstopper styled arrangement.  One of my LEAST favorite BOBBY DARIN tracks ... put an important part of musical history as the title track from the album that gave us MACK THE KNIFE and BEYOND THE SEA!

Hey, I'm nearly famous!!!  The Official BOBBY DARIN Website now provides a link to our BOBBY DARIN series.  Hopefully, after the movie opens and several more people want to learn more about DARIN's career, they'll come to the FORGOTTEN HITS link and be able to review a copy of our article...maybe we can keep the chain going for a while!!!  

Dear Kent,
We just wanted to let you know the announcement for your online newsletter FORGOTTEN HITS is now on the Bobby Darin website.
We do appreciate and want to thank you very much for sending these installments for us to read. They are both informative and entertaining and we hope people will contact you and take advantage of this opportunity.  We are very pleased with the series and must say we are so impressed with your in-depth writing.  It has been a joy to read.
Wishing you much success.

Our BOBBY DARIN series goes out to a whole new list of fans ... if any of you know of anyone else who might enjoy reading this special feature, please let us know that this piece has noww been permanently posted to our Forgotten Hits Website:

Congratulations on the success of your series!!  It is an amazing tribute to Bobby.  As great Bobby fans we applauded your dedication and your hard work.
We want to thank you for sending your series to us.  We have all enjoyed reading your e-mails.
The feedback from your readers is wonderful to hear.  But, due to the lack of space in our bobbysgirls account we were wondering if you would like to invite your readers to join our Darin e-mail list, so they might post their impressions there, for all our members to enjoy.  If you like that idea here's the link:
We've had a great deal of Darin news lately about "Beyond the Sea" along with concert dates for Kevin Spacey ... all archived for any member to read.  We're sure your readers would appreciate the information.  Perhaps you might like to join us, too.    Here is the link:
Thanks again for sharing your series and especially for keeping information out there for the fans. 

For anyone interested in posting their comments to the official website, here are the links you'll need ... with our BOBBY DARIN series now permanently posted, several more new visitors to these site will soon discover the efforts of our work.  (Next Friday, December 21t, KEVIN SPACEY will be appearing here in Chicago at THE HOUSE OF BLUES doing his full BOBBY DARIN show ... and tickets are only $35!  Maybe I can slip him a copy of my "opus" ... assuming the hardcover version is ready by then!!!  LOL)

The other Forgotten Hits Website doesn't allow us to post music files, just text.  As such, over the next couple of days (and as a means to continue to drum up interest in the reposting of our series) we'll be running song clips and YouTube videos as they pertain to some of Bobby's biggest hits ... so be sure to check back often this weekend for our very Special Bobby Darin Weekend Presentation!!!