Bobby Darin and Buddy Bregman

Jimmy McHugh, Bobby, Vic Damone and Buddy (on stage) at the end of the Hollywood Bowl concert
(Photo courtesy of Buddy Bregman)

Below are memories from one of Bobby's arranger/conductors Buddy Bregman . Mr. Bregman started in the music business with Capitol record's recording trio The Cheers and went on to do arrangements on Bobby's LP's At The Copa and This is Darin. He has had a very significant impact on the the music industry and is still working today.

"My Buddy...."


"I worked with Bobby Darin a lot. I recorded with him - I arranged his cabaret act - actually conducted for him when he worked in LA - I actually revised some of his New York charts while I was on the bandstand - they just didn't make it - and I told Bobby to get a drink and in 15 minutes we'd have it done - I called out every single riff and note to the guys who all took it down and when Bobby came back he had a chart that really swung - it was called "Clementine." I obviously did not get credit for it but I did lots of charts on that date . Bobby was a lot of fun and not imbued with himself as one continually reads about. He appreciated talented people.

I was very friendly with Bobby as well spending classic evenings with he and Sammy Davis who I was also working with at the time - countless social evenings - with his manager Steve Blauner as well - one with Milton Berle, Buddy Hackett and Jan Murray - 4-5 hours of intense laughing - when Sammy, Bobby, Steve and I left Milton's house afterwards we were so stiff from laughing we could hardly walk.

I did Bobby's act from start to finish at Mocambo and etc... and he sang at my Hollywood Bowl Concert on September 5, 1959 with 105 musicians and we had a wonderful relationship.

That evening was called A LOVELY WAY TO SPEND AN EVENING - The Music of Jimmy McHugh . Vic Damone and Anna Maria Alberghetti also appeared . I unfortunately can not find the recording of that concert - it was fantastic - and an obvious classic! Bobby sang "I Feel a Song Comin' On", "On The Sunny Side of the Street","Comin' In on a Wing and a Prayer" (with Vic) "I Won't Dance" (with Vic and Anna),"I Can't Give You Anything But Love", "I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night" and "Let's Get Lost" (I used the 55 string selection behind him Colla Voce* throughout) - "Can't Get Out Of This Mood" (as I remember fantastic and we really swung together). He and Anna Marie sang a duet together - and it was absolutely great - lots of ad libs and got screams - It was called "When You and I Were Young Maggie Blues" - Vic Damone performed "When My Sugar Walks Down The Street" - I remember this one over everything else - it was a major showstopper! The show ended with "This is a Lovely Way to Spend an Evening", sung by Anna, Vic and Bobby.

It was a great night. I do have stills from the evening and from around the piano rehearsing it the week before - Anna, Vic, Jimmy and me - and also on stage with Bobby, Vic, Anna Maria and I.

Program and review of the event.

I spent 6 months writing all the notes in between all my other paying jobs - and finally hearing it at afternoon rehearsal and then the evening performance - it was a great feeling to walk out on stage in front of the biggest band I had ever led - and having over 14,000 people applaud me.

I did 2 instrumentals at beginning of Act I (10' long) and 2 instrumentals at the beginning of Act 2 (another 10' long). When I walked out to conduct "Digga Doo" my 1st party piece at the beginning after I took my bow to acknowledge the audience applause I TOTALLY FORGOT that I was to do The Star Spangled Banner - WE NEVER REHEARASED IT - so I thought when I raised my baton and the orchestra got their instruments ready it was for "Digga Doo". Oy! I gave the down beat in 4/4 - SSB is in 3/4 - of course they knew what they were doing even if I didn't - I got the message quickly loud and clear - and I remember thinking - "Oh, My Lord, this song is in 3 - I never knew that!" Talk about being a neophyte! I was self-taught.

The orchestra was The Symphony - 85 pieces - like 5 bass players, 6 percussion etc.. plus a 20 piece Jazz Band in the middle - it was a thrilling sound - and strangely enough at night it sounded so much better than the afternoon rehearsal with the sun beating down on me - the night air really made it sound great.

I really enjoyed working with Bobby. I was sorry to hear about his demise - we had lots of fun together."

---Buddy Bregman

*"colla" means "with (the)" as in "colla voce" or "with the voice." This would mean for whatever instrument(s)
this is indicated that they should follow the voice part, in terms of rhythm.

NOTE: Special thanks to Buddy Bregman for his comments.

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