Monday, March 13, 2006

Exciting News From the Official BD site


The official Bobby Darin website has been updated today with some great news. Head on over to check out the full post, but it appears that the Darin Estate and the official Darin archivist are working very hard at getting some new material into our eager DVD and CD players. Here's what was hinted at being in the works.
  • Re-release of Mack is Back DVD with "powerful" and "electrifying" new features
  • Bobby's never before released recording of "Weeping Willow" with video footage
  • More "Milk" recordings, including "Manhattan in My Heart" and "Sonny Boy"

So, we are left to anticipate and speculate. I have long hoped for more Cocoanut Grove documentary footage. To me, that performance is quintissential Darin. And after being told a number of times that we have seen all there is to see -- whoops -- they always manage to find some more. Who knows? Of course, it could always be outtakes from the shoot as well as some of the Peggy Lee material. Or, better yet, more performances from the variety shows in general.

As for "Willow." Anyone who has seen what exists of the unfinished Grove doc, either on Mack is Back and/or Aces Back to Back, has seen the fantastic footage of Darin in the studio recording Weeping Willow and it sounds like we may be getting a high quality audio and video release of that session. I believe "Rainin" was also part of the same session.

The "Milk" recordings are from a series of short radio shows Darin hosted in the mid 1960's, sponsored by the American Dairy Assocation (hence the 'milk' moniker). We have already heard "All the Way," "Blue Skies," and "Moonriver" on the Aces Back to Back CD -- but it left us thirsty for more. Got more milk? we asked. Apparently so, as they even have a couple of titles they're throwing at us. As you know, what makes these recordings so special is that they were recorded with only a small combo backing up Darin -- allowing him to show off his underrated jazz chops.

All in all, it's a good news day in Darinland. More on these projects to come. Keep checking back here, and at the official site.

** Photo, courtesy MichaelOchs.com

Saturday, March 11, 2006

'Walk the Line' DVD Release Brings Up Spacey's Darin


Here is an excerpt from a review of the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line, with a passing mention of Beyond the Sea. Check out the complete review here.

Turns out that Phoenix and co-star Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash sang all their own vocals for the film - an admirable feat that Oscar winner Jamie Foxx didn't even try with "Ray," and that undid Kevin Spacey as a clunky Bobby Darin in 2004's "Beyond the Sea."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Another Darin Discussion Group at Yahoo


There seems to be no shortage of Darin discussion groups on the web these days. Here is one that I joined most recently at Yahoo Groups. Thank you for the heads up, Michael.

Bobby Darin: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/bobbydarin/
"An open forum for discussing the singer, actor, all around entertainer, Mr. Bobby Darin. Chat about his music, his movies, the fabulous artists he worked with and the people and things that make up his world."

** Photo, courtesy Atlantic Records

NY Times Draws Darin Comparison to Buble


Anyone who has followed nouveau singer, Michael Buble's, career has heard the Darin comparison many times, rarely without justification. In the New York Time's review of Buble's debut at Radio City Music Hall this week, writer, Stephen Holden, conjures up the Darin image, but with a little more substantive analysis.
"If Mr. Buble roughly follows the Sinatra archetype, that primary influence is less pronounced than the influences of those of two chips off the old block, Bobby Darin and Harry Connick Jr. For Mr.Buble never dives into the noirish depths Sinatra plumbed with such profound intensity. Like Darin and Mr. Connick, he ventures to the brink and wets his toes, but refuses to take the plunge."

I would agree that Buble has *yet* to make the leap from "entertainer" to true "interpreter," but unarguably Darin did. No one could have covered as many genres as successfully and performed them as convincingly -- and not have inhabited and internalized them deeply. The 1963 Flamingo recordings are a great example of this range Darin had -- all neatly packaged in a 50 minute show. Perhaps we could take up a collection for Mr. Holden and send him a copy.

** Excerpt and photo, courtesy The Daily Buble

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Darin Discussion for Everybody


For those of you new to Darin fandom, there are a number of great Bobby Darin discussion boards on the net. I subscribe to all of them and they each have their unique membership and points of view. Here they are for your reference, along with a summary of how they bill themselves. All of them are worth checking out and I'll keep the links posted here under our links heading.

DarinFan: http://groups.google.com/group/darinfan?lnk=li&hl=en
This is the official fan list (Darinfan) of bobbydarin.net/bobbydarin.com, the family-friendly email list for fans of singer/actor/songwriter/producer Bobby Darin. We hope you enjoy talking about our favorite entertainer.

DarinFans: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/DarinFans/
The alternative Bobby Darin Fan list

Darinites: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/Darinites/
Darinites is a discussion forum which encourages the free exchange of ideas on all matters related to Bobby Darin. The messages on this site are not censored or moderated in any way prior to posting.

If you subscribe to another Bobby Darin fan group, and would like me to post a link to it, please e-mail me at DarinandFriends@Hotmail.com.

** Note: Thanks to Cathy who sent me a very nice e-mail about my site. Also, thank you to Barbara at DarinFans who gave me the idea to post links to the Darin discussion boards around the net.

** Photo, courtesy of Michael Ochs Archives

Friday, March 03, 2006

Bobby Darin Songbook Available - Finally!


Hal Leondard stepped up and published a Bobby Darin Songbook, complete with sheet music to 25 Darin hits. Released in early February, the book is designed for piano/vocal use, and appears to also include guitar chords. The complete songlist is as follows...

Queen Of The Hop About A Quarter To Nine Simple Song Of Freedom Artificial Flowers Beyond The Sea Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home Call Me Irresponsible Dream Lover Hello, Dolly! If I Were A Carpenter Lazy River Mack The Knife More (Ti Guardero' Nel Cuore) A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square Splish Splash That's All Things What'd I Say You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby Multiplication Lovin' You Clementine Eighteen Yellow Roses You're The Reason I'm Living Hello, Young Lovers

Bravo Hal Leonard! It's about time BD received his own songbook compilation. A word to the wise, though... please understand that these are the official, published versions of these songs, and not necessarily the Bobby Darin arrangements or even in the same key. However, the original Darin tunes, such as Simple Song of Freedom, Dream Lover, Splish Splash, etc. should be in Bobby's key and sound familiar to you when played. That being said, Darin arrangements or no, these provide a great start from which to reconstruct the arrangment you want. All you need is a good ear, or a good musician to help out. I'll be ordering my copy for sure.

** Songbook cover art, courtesy Amazon.com/Hal Leondard

Nice Plug at Frank Truth


Our good friend, Brian, at the Frank Truth web log and podcast gave Darin and Friends a great big plug during his most recent show. I encourage all of you reading this to click on over to Brian and subscribe to the cast. He has been a big inspiration in the creation of this site and the upcoming Darin and Friends podcast. Thanks Brian, you are a gasser!

** Frank Truth logo, courtesy Brian Noe

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Darin Videos Available from Google


The new Google Video service has two Bobby Darin performance clips available for preview. Both are from two different Ed Sullivan Show "best of" DVDs. "Dream Lover" and "Mack the Knife" are featured, and a link is provided to buy the DVDs. You can watch an all-too brief clip of each performance for free. The DVDs (The Very Best of the Ed Sullivan Show Vol. 1 and Holiday Greetings From the Ed Sullivan Show) are both available from www.SofaEntertainment.com. See them both here. Now if we can only get Sofa to release a BEST OF BOBBY DARIN! Enjoy.

** Photo, courtesy of Google Video

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bobby Darin's Tux for Sale Circa 1967


Just found this pic along with details of someone who is selling a tuxedo, complete with jacket, pants, shirt and hat all worn by Bobby during his 1967 tour of Great Britain. It was during this tour that he recorded the "Something Special" album - and subsequent TV special for the BBC. Not sure what the asking price is, but it would certainly be cool to have - especially since I'm about his size! Check it out right here.

** Updated: Thanks to Jamie on the DarinFans board at Yahoo Groups, who asked that I remind everyone - buyer beware on this type of item.

** Photo, courtesy www.jussta.com

Own a Swanky Part of BD


Here is an interesting eBay listing for a genuine "Swank" brand tie bar once owned by Bobby Darin. Buyer says that they will include a certificate of authenticity, but as always use caution and buyer beware.

** Photo, courtesy eBay.com

Darin in the News


We are still hard at work on the premiere episode of the Darin and Friends podcast, but in the meantime, we will try to keep you up to date with Darin and Friends news right here.

Darin has been mentioned in a few articles that can be found online. All of them worth reading...

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (subscription) - Milwaukee,WI,USA... Ringo Starr's second solo album was a collection called "Sentimental Journey." Jackie Wilson, Bobby Darin, Roy Hamilton and even Ricky Nelson were singing ...
** Note: a nice interview with Ronstadt that includes a Darin mention in the context of being a rocker turned legitimate singer of "standards."

Modern Guitars Magazine - Laguna Beach,CA,USA... Before forming the Byrds, McGuinn toured with the Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio and backed up the inimitable Bobby Darin as a guitarist and banjo player. ...
** Note: interview with McGuinn and a passing Darin mention.

2theadvocate.com - Baton Rouge,LA,USA... Nor can he swing like the young Bobby Darin in "Beyond the Sea" or summon the smoldering sensuality of Elvis Presley in "Are You Lonesome Tonight ...
** Note: a review of Barry Manilow's Songs of the Fifties CD, including a Darin comparison regarding Manilow tackling Beyond the Sea.

Foxes on Idol - USA... Bruce: I tried to imagine David singing the song without the big band drum vamp and was left with a bad Bobby Darin impersonation. ...
** Note: American Idol fan site comments on this season's "crooner" with a Darin comparison.

Orlando Sentinel - Orlando,FL,USA... But he said his style most resembles that of Bobby Darin. "The most important fact about Darin was that he always knew he would die young," Andrew said. ...
** Note: Singer makes Darin comparision to himself -- check him out live in the Orlando area or at www.MichaelAndrew.com. Nice voice and worth a listen.

That's all for now. Keep checking back for more Darin news, including the premiere of the Darin and Friends podcast. If you come across a Darin mention, or have a question or comment, drop me an e-mail at darinandfriends@hotmail.com .