fbpx
Home » blog » Bobby Darin: “Splish Splash”
Pop

Bobby Darin: “Splish Splash”

Bobby Darin — born in 1936 as Robert Walden Cassotto in the Bronx — accomplished a lot in his life, which only lasted 34 years. Here is a short bio. This is the first paragraph from the short one, which is at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website:

Bobby Darin was one of the most ambitious and versatile performers of the last 60 years. He straddled generations, appealing to bobbysoxers as a teen idol who wrote and recorded “Splish Splash” in 1958 and then winning over their parents as the swaggering, Sinatra-voiced adult who cut the ultimate version of “Mack the Knife” (a song from Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s musical Threepenny Opera) only a year later. Both songs were enormous hits, with “Splish Splash” reaching Number Three and “Mack the Knife” topping the chart for an astounding nine weeks. Darin’s range was as boundless as his brash self-confidence. In 1959, he told a Life magazine reporter that he wanted to be a pop legend by the age of 25, while he allegedly informed another writer that he intended to surpass Frank Sinatra.

Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald did fabulous versions of Mack the Knife, so pronouncing Darin’s the best is not fair. But the rest of this long paragraph captures the bottom line: Darin was a very talented guy. He also seems to have matured as quickly as some of the rock-and-roll bands that followed.

Here are Across the Sea, Mack the Knife (you decide: Here is Armstrong’s version) and Artificial Flowers. There also are two clips that deal with trains: a medley with Judy Garland from her show and revealing footage of Darin relaxing and playing guitar while riding. He plays the beginning of a song he is working on that sounds like it could have been written by Woody Guthrie.

Sign Up for TDMB Daily Email Blasts

TDMB offers daily one-video email blasts. A different genre each day of the week. They are quick hits: Just great music and a bit of context.

Sign up below or, for more info, click here.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

🎼🎺🎻🎹🎷🎶🎵


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

🎼🎺🎻🎹🎷🎶🎵

The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

Top