HOLLYWOOD -- NEA -- "This is DARIN," the song album cover says.
This is Bobby Darin, too -- a talkative little guy in a two-toned brown suit with a two-toned white pipe in his hand.
"I just gave up cigarettes and last night I sang better than I have in two years," he says, sitting as a two-toned personality in gray living room on a Hollywood hilltop.
This is Darin -- 24-year old Robert Walden Cossotto from the Bronx where he almost became "Mack the Knife" instead of the greatest young rhythm singer since Sinatra because he has both adult and juvenile appeal.
The café and the cola sets dig him the most.
Feminine teen-age eyes turn misty when he sings. Older feminine eyes take on a far-away stare.
Like Sinatra he's Italian and hotheaded and self-absorbed. The trade is saying that if Frank Sinatra had Bobby Darin's self-assurance he could be another Bobby Darin.
This is Darin, with the two-toned personality, telling me he has "a constant struggle inside."
He said: "There are two Darins -- the one the public sees and Robert Walden Cossotto from the Bronx.
"Cossotto is me in this house where I swing from the chandelier if I feel like it. The struggle is between Darin and Cossotto.
"Some night I'll probably feel like hitting some newspaper fellow who has said something I didn't like."
"The struggle is to match Darin and Cossotto. I have to struggle to make Cossotto come home and smash his fist into the wall instead of into someone's face."
Sure he's controversial -- and as self-assured as an H-bomb.
"How do I feel about publicity?" he asked me, and then answered: "I love it."
I guess I'm controversial because I say what I feel. I can't tell anyone I didn't have a fight with Frankie Avalon because I did."
"I get into trouble because I talk too much. My publicity man hides his face."
"Well, I'm only 24 but I'm no kid. There are only two things I won't talk about -- religion and politics."
This is Darin, too --
"As Bobby Darin I've been able to have things Robert Walden Cossotto wanted -- a home for my sister, brother-law, two nieces and a nephew back in New Jersey.
"You know what else?" he laughed. "Lots of underwear. I've got 40 T-shirts and 40 pairs of undershorts. Only a dozen suits, I guess. But Cossotto back in the Bronx always had a dream about being all dressed up but with torn underwear underneath."
Cossotto dreamed of being a cowboy. This is Darin, with a pair of .22 pistols and a cowboy hat hanging in his clothes closet next to his $250 black silk suits. He put on his pistol belt and said: "Wanna see the fastest draw in the West?"
This is Darin, who says: "I'm a funny duck. I have a feeling for young people and their problems because I had 'em too. A year ago I thought I had lost the kid fans, but today they're with me. They're growing up with me.
"I didn't change my style of singing; they just changed their style of listening."
This is Darin, headed for the movies now: "I want a Jimmy Dean-type role but I want to be a personality first who acts just a little better than most personalities."
"I can wait for the right role now. I'm no longer running. I'm just walking -- fast."
The two-toned Mr. Darin.
I suspect he's going straight to the top.
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