The name of the Rock & Roll game is confidence with a capital C… to truly succeed, an artist must be sure of their abilities and really believe that their music has what it takes to make the top of the charts.
Robert Waldern Cassetto, a.k. Bobby Darin, is a great example of a supremely confident artist, a man who lived his life with a burning desire to succeed. Indeed, Darin’s artistic goal was to become a bigger star than none other than Frank Sinatra, no small task for any recording star.
Early in his career, Darin was a drummer and a mediocre one at that. Realizing that skin bashing would never bring him the recognition he truly deserved, Darin soon turned to writing songs, something he found he possessed a unique knack for. In fact, one of the greatest stories in rock & roll history is that Darin wrote “Splish Splash”, a hit which sold over 100,000 copies in five weeks, in the short span of 12 minutes!
By reaching number three on the charts, “Splish Splash” turned Bobby Darin into a household name. But still, the questions remained; where did all of his talent come from? The answers soon became apparent with Darin’s catchy rendition of “Queen of the Hop”, a tune which just reinforced the fact that this was one artist who would be around for awhile.
Darin continued to make believers of out the doubting rock & roll critics when he released “Dream Lover”, a song which had the music press and teenagers everywhere eating out of his hands. “Dream Lover” raced up to number two on the charts and solidified Darin’s position as one of the hot young talents in the music world… not bad for and Italian opera singer turned rock and roll star.
After standing the rock and roll world on its ear, Darin became arrogant, cocky, and quite outspoken and let everyone know that he was much more interested in eventually broke ranks with the rock & rollers with the smash hit “Mack the Knife” which hit number 15 on the charts and garnered two Grammy Awards for the chameleon-like star.
At this point, Darin felt that the movies were his calling as he appeared in “Come September” and “Captain Newman M.D.”. Soon after, Connie Francis fell in love with Darin and until the final day of their relationship, expected to receive a wedding proposal. Instead Darin went on the marry perky Sandra Dee, his co-star in “Come September”.
Darin later went on to chart several more hits including “Beyond the Sea”, “Clementine”, “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey?”, “Artificial Flowers”, and the great, “Somebody to Love”.
The Bobby Darin saga wouldn’t be complete nor would it be fair to surmise that he didn’t achieve the goals in life that he set out to accomplish. I truly liked Darin’s style and even enjoyed his lesser known treats like “Rock Island”, “Dealer In Dreams”, “Early In the Morning”, and “Mighty, Mighty Man” with the Rinky Dinks. The first Darin disc I ever heard was “I Found A Million Dollar Baby”, and the “Just in Case You Change Your Mind”, and everybody’s favorite “Splish Splash”.
Bobby Darin was a giant talent, and even though he may not have reached the lofty goals he set for himself, was a seminal performer in rock & roll history. Give him a listen!