Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bobby Darin & Bobby Kennedy

There's a new movie about Bobby Kennedy's death. It doesn't mention two repercussions: Bobby Darin changed his name to BOB Darin, and grew a mustache.
He also began writing the best songs of his career. Especially since he didn't write either "Beyond the Sea" or "Mack the Knife." Bob Darin turned up on variety shows singing protest songs. Audiences were shocked. Critics didn't buy his sincerity, or understand that Darin had worked hard for Kennedy's campaign and was devastated by the assassination.
A few years passed, and Darin put a toupee on, got his tuxedo out of mothballs, and was once again a star. His Copa-type stuff is still lapped up by the same "lounge" heads who think the Rat Pack still matter. Just one CD compiles selected tracks from his two sincere self-penned folk-rock albums, and two of his best are missing.
"In Memorium" was inspired by RFK's death. Strange that any re-issue label preserving Darin's legacy could leave off a song Darin cared so passionately about. Sorry for the pops and clicks; I got this rarity used and it's been well played.
Also left off, is "Bullfrog," which I include as an example of Darin's humor. It's got a bit of Randy Newman to it, especially in the "turn your radio down" talking aside.
RFK was not on a lot of folks' minds when Darin was playing Vegas and Nixon was in office. Bobby died on December 20, 1973 from the heart ailment that had plagued him since childhood, and a year later Nixon resigned.
Direct downloads: no Rapidshare, porn ads, or swervy code-words to read:
BULLFROG (for social satire)


Anonymous said...

Wow. Thanks, that's nice. I've bought the Darin box sets and compilations, but, as you say, this stuff isn't on there. Very nice.

Ill Folks said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ill Folks said...

Had some typing just deleted the post. Here it is again (as if that many care)

Varese Sarabande apparently has the re-print rights for "Committment" and "Born Robert Walden Cassotto."

Their compilation collection from those two albums had some odd choices in terms of what they deleted to make room for outtakes or singles.

The Collectors Choice approach of keeping the integrity of the original release (and having a two-fer if time permits, or bonus tracks) seems a bit better.

Bobby was unquestionably a gifted showman, and he brought new panache to the "lounge" genre. I just think he also was a credible 50's rocker (even if he didn't want to "Splish Splash" all his life) and most definitely a conscientious singer-songwriter in the late 60's who could not only interpret others but create his own very worthy contributions.

"Born Walden Robert Cassoto" and "Committment" deserve to be preserved as he conceived them. Hopefully they'll be released again that way.