Remembering Bobby...

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Michelle Schuster shares this:

I remember the moment that I became a major lifelong fan of Bobby Darin -- my dad was driving me to school one morning when I was in junior high when we heard Bobby's "Mack the Knife" on the radio for the first time. I was hooked! I wrote Bobby many fan letters, and he answered them all, many personally.

Now that I think back, I am amazed that my parents were so supportive of my great enthusiasm for Bobby Darin or that they even took me at the young age of 13 and my little brother, only nine at the time, to see Bobby at the Casino Royale nightclub in Washington, D.C. We were thrilled when we got to go backstage to get autographs and talk to Bobby. I thought that would be the most exciting thing that could happen, but a year or so later, there was something even more memorable.

When I was in 10th grade, I learned that Bobby was coming to town again. I was a really shy kid, but so crazy about Bobby Darin that I wrote to him again, saying that I was on the staff of my school paper (NOT!) and asked if I could have an interview with him when he came to town. I honestly didn't think anything would come of it, but one day when I came home from school my mother was in a tizzy. She said I had gotten a call from a MAN that afternoon. She, being the overprotective type, couldn't imagine why a man would be calling me! She spoke rather coolly to this stranger on the other end of the phone, telling him that I was still in school! Her attitude changed completely when the voice at the other end said, "This is Bobby Darin." He even left me his phone number at the hotel. When I called back, I was put right through, and he very kindly answered a few questions for me. I will always remember his kindness to a very shy, starstruck teen. It still remains such a beautiful memory that I will always cherish.

About a year ago I bought the DVD of Bobby's last recorded performance, Mack Is Back. Watching it, I am so amazed at the depth and extent of Bobby Darin's talents. I think he was truly one of the most amazing people who has come along in a long, long time. His songs and routines seem so fresh that it seems impossible he is not performing them today! I am also kind of surprised that I had such good taste as a young teen!! I've managed to make great fans now out of my two daughters and their fiances. We're having a huge Bobby Darin revival, especially since the release of Kevin Spacey's wonderful movie, Beyond the Sea, which I am so grateful for. One of my daughters now wants her sister and her fiance to sing "If I Were a Carpenter" at her wedding. The other couple is only too glad -- they are Bobby's big fans now, too. I just wanted to share this little bit of my history with Bobby Darin with his family, to let them know how much he touched so many lives. After all these years, he is still in my heart and in the heart of so many. I really miss him and am thankful for all he has left for us.

-- Michelle Schuster

Alan Adler shares this:

My name is Alan Adler, and I worked for Pat Henry for over 20 years. Pat opened for Bobby Darin at The Copacabana. I believe it was in the mid to late 1960's. The dressing rooms at The Copa were in the Hotel 14, and to get on stage a performer had to take the elevator to the hotel's lobby and walk down a wide stairway to the doors that opened to The Copa itself. These doors opened next to the sound and light boards, as well as the entrance to the kitchen and the restrooms. I worked for Pat as a writer, road manager, and coordinator. Bobby Darin was always friendly and treated me very warmly.

I don't know if you or Dodd are aware of the fabulous way he made his way to the stage at The Copa. Upon being introduced from offstage, the audience would hear Bobby singing "Hey world here I am" and as he made his way to the stage he would be singing, "Don't tell me not to fly I simple got to" and proceed to do "Don't bring around the clouds to rain on my parade." To this day that entrance still gives me goose bumps. Pat opened for some of the biggest and greatest stars, but Bobby Darin's Copa entrance to this day stands out.

Also, I have never heard anyone speak of what a brilliant man Bobby Darin was. I was born in The Bronx in March of 1937. Being accepted into The Bronx High School of Science was the high school equivalent of getting into Harvard for college. Bobby Darin went to The Bronx High School of Science.

-- Alan Adler

Wendy Lappe shares this:

My name is Wendy Lappe, and my husband Herbert Lappe knew Bobby's brother-in-law. Herbie worked on the sanitation truck with him. Bobby used to come around, get on the truck and sing. My husband used to tease Bobby by telling him, "Get out of here kid, you can't sing." I asked my husband if he meant that and he told me that Bobby was a cocky kid who had a lot of talent and could sing. He said Bobby was self-assured and that he would make it in the music business.

Years later, Bobby came back to the old neighborhood and rounded up all the guys. Bobby gave my husband and the other guys tickets to the Copacabana. Herbie went and said that Bobby was fantastic. Bobby even dedicated a song to the guys back home saying that this is for the guys (and he named them all) who said I wouldn't make it. I'm not sure, but I think the song was "Splish Splash."

My husband said Bobby was the nicest, kindest, most caring person. Even after he made it and came back to the old neighborhood, he never put on airs. He was proud of where he came from.

-- Wendy Lappe

Joe Rosen shares this:

I have fond memories of Bobby that go back to when I was about 14 or 15 years old. My late brother, Ken Rosen, and Bobby were schoolmates and friends at Bronx Science. In fact, they worked together as water-busboy-entertainers at some funky resort in Ellenville, N.Y. located in the Catskill Mountains for one or two summers. (My brother died in 1982 at age 44 and was a full professor of cardiology at the Univerisity of Illinois at the time of his death.)

In any event, when I was a kid, Bobby often slept over at our house on 108th and Broadway, where my mother would unfurl a fold-up cot between the cater-cornered beds of mine and my brother. Our living room, which Bobby came to appreciate, included a Steinway piano, a set of drums (mine) and a a reel-to-reel tape recorder. My brother, the piano player, and Bobby, the drummer, would pack up my drums and would play dance dates. I also recall a time or two when my brother couldn't make it, and I went along as the drum prodigy, and Bobby played piano.

I remember Bobby as a talented, funny and very hip guy. I know that Dan Hicks, on his web site, has supered a line over his own photo that identifies him as "the hippest guy there is," but I will always remember Bobby as carrying that title.

I have other anecdotes that involve Bobby and Donnie Kirshner, then a total unknown, and the great jockey, Eddie Arcaro which I will be happy to relate at another time if anyone is interested.

Also, I just saw the Darin film and of course, I had mixed emotions, but I was struck how much Kevin Spacey reminded me of Bobby when he was pictured with a hat. Not sure I know why that is so, but there it is.

-- Joe Rosen

Mr. Robert Mathers
Admissions Director, Broadcasting Institute of Maryland

I worked very closely with a fellow for 8 years named Buddy Deane. He hosted a TV Dance Show (which was the inspiration for the movie & Broadway play 'Hairspray') in Baltimore. He had Bobby Darin on his TV program numerous times beginning in early 1958. He told me some great Bobby Darin stories, including the time Bobby came out to his house in suburban Baltimore in the summer of '58 and played ping-pong with Buddy. According to Buddy, Mr. Darin was an excellent ping-pong player and his serves just about backed Buddy up against the wall.

Henry Marx - HMX Management
Manager for singer Bobby Caldwell

Recalling a performance of BD's at Westbury Music Fair, Long Island, New York

It's been so long since that incredible night, I might have been seventeen or 18 at the time. He came on stage with a dungaree jacket sans hairpiece and sang his butt off. It was on that night that he introduced "If I Were A Carpenter," he told the audience a great story of how the song was given to him by two song pluggers that he had told on two other occasions that he wasn't interested in the songs they presented him....of course the two songs became number 1 records so therefore the song they presented to him on that night he immediately recorded...and the story goes that Carpenter became a number 1 hit for Bobby Darin as well.

I believe I was sitting in the front row but Bobby couldn't have been more than 10 or fifteen feet in front of me. I also have to admit that I saw Bobby Darin at least twice at the Copa years before, again front row seats, my old man had juice in those days.

Bobby Darin might have been one of the greatests artists ever....and as a live performer....unmatched!

Lee Levinson

In 1969, I was privileged to have breakfast with Mr. Darin and his agent, the late Marty Klein, at The Bonanza Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. At the time, I was the Publicity Director of the Bonanza Hotel and an aspiring film producer. Mr. Darin name appeared on the marquee of the Bonanza as "Bob" Darin. His entire concert was recorded live in the Main Room for one night only.He wore jeans, boots, and an open shirt and performed as a folk singer with harmonica and guitar. Some members of the audience called out to him to sing "Mack, The Knife". He declined.

I was told that the change of image had occurred because Mr. Darin had been deeply affected by the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. He had wanted to discard the "show business aura" and live a more simplistic and meaningful life.

Marty Klein had arranged for me to have breakfast with him and Mr. Darin on the following morning so that I could present to Mr. Darin a book that I had optioned and wanted to produce as a feature film. "Duet For A Lifetime" was the true story of the original Siamese twins, Chang and Eng Bunker. Marty had told me that Mr. Darin was a very gifted screenwriter and perhaps the book would appeal to him. At breakfast, he listened intently as I told him the story of Chang and Eng. He was very moved by their personal journey. At the end of our meeting, Mr. Darin wrote his Beverly Hills address and phone number down on a piece of paper and handed it to me. Afterwards, Marty Klein said to me: I've never seen him do that before. He must really like you."

Tonight, I watched a video of an NBC-TV special which marked Mr. Darin's last television performance, which I think was aired 6 months before he passed away. The tape was sent to me as a gift by another Marty, comedian Marty Ingels. Somehow, two Marty's had come on board as bookends. Not too long ago, I had seen but didn't tape Mr. Darin's NBC-TV special when it aired as part of PBS's annual fundraising drive here in New York City. I had wanted my wife to share in the joy of that program with me but she wasn't available to watch at that time. Magically, the tape was sent to me as a gift. I don't think that was any accident. I had never requested the tape.

Mr. Darin was truly one-of-a kind. I didn't know him very well but I'll never forget our breakfast meeting and how gracious and kind he was to me.

Lee Levinson

New York City

Bill Coppola also shares this :

After taking my "in-laws" to see Bobby, I returned the favor for my parents. Now after you've been to the Copa a few times, you tend to learn the protocol even when you are a young guy, as I was. To shorten this story, let's just say I "took care" of the maitre d' well enough to seat us ringside. I mean RINGSIDE, so much so that when Bobby was doing his thing at the piano, his stool was under my dad's chair. Both dad and I shook hands with him, while he was on stage, and also told him how great the show was. As with everytime I ever met him, he was gracious and charming. For me this was the crowning glory of all my times at the Copa, even better than the time I spoke to him. This time I was within a foot or two of him for the entire show. I'll cherish these memories of Bobby and dad, (who is gone now), forever.
--Bill Coppola

Bill Coppola shares this :

In either 1969 or 1970, my wife and I decided to take my mother-in- law to see Bobby at the Copa for her birthday. After we were seated and the opening act was on stage, ( a comic, I can't remember who) I got up to visit the men's room. To my great suprise, Bobby was standing in the back "reading" the crowd. We exchanged a few words, I told him the last time we had met was at Freedomland. He laughed and signed one of my business cards with a birthday greeting for my wife's mom. When I returned to the table I was accused of writing the card myself.They couldn't believe I had actually met him. I directed my wife and her mom to where they could find Bobby and off they went. When they returned, giddy as school girls, my wife said they had a nice conversation with Bobby which was capped off when he said goodbye and kissed her hand. We have been married for over 30 years and she never lets me forget how charming and sexy Mr. Darin was. In addition to being the greatest night club performer we have ever encountered, and that includes ALL the big names of that era.
--Bill Coppola

Bill Coppola shares this :

I saw Bobby at Freedomland. When Bobby started the show he was dressed in his usual black mohair formal outfit. The sky opened up, and as the story goes Bobby refused any shelter, telling the crowd, "If you can get wet, so can I." At this point the show took on a very casual atmosphere with Bobby losing the jacket and tie. He took requests from the audience and performed whatever he had the music for. When the show ended we waited for Bobby to come out. Since there was only one way out, we knew exactly where he would emerge. When he finally did appear, with 2 or 3 other men, it was in an unusual "disguise", which consisted of a pair of "big nose" Graucho glasses with mustache. This obviously fooled no one, which I'm sure was his intent. In any event he stayed, signed autographs and was very gracious. No one knew how sick the performance had apparently made him. He checked in to a NYC hospital the next day. I met Bobby 3 times and he was always friendly and considerate to me and my family.

--Bill Coppola

Joanne Romeo shares this :

Bobby Darin was a friend of our family for years. We met when I was 3 at a radio station in Las Vegas-we were there visiting an army friend of my father's. Bobby Darin came in for an interview, all rumpled and sleepy - but he looked at me, put his face right next to mine - and I sat on his lap through the entire interview. I knew who he was because I always watched American Bandstand with my older cousins and had seen him on there, and my mother had all of his records. When it was over the DJ played "Mack the Knife" which was the #1 song at that time - and I sang it. He said, "you call me Uncle Bobby, and I want you on the show with me tonight." That was just fine with me. If you watch the A & E Bio of Bobby, I come on about half way though it - I'm the little girl wearing the pink dress who is being held by Bobby. A little later in the program, you see me on an outdoor stage. That was in San Jose, California -Bobby had booked an appearance there for an opening of a new housing complex BEFORE he hit it big - and he retained his commitment. There is also black and white footage of that performance in the program, my father went down to the local TV station and got the film after we saw it on TV. Cool stuff. Uncle Bobby was very affectionate - when he hugged you ,you felt like your ribs were going to break. I loved the way he used to read to me. Dodd is a doll. We re-met as adults and he was amazed when I told him about all of his toys I used to play with!

I have followed my Uncle Bobby's footprints in to "showbiz" (I'm a drummer, what else) and I have done the show "Forever Plaid" a couple of times. It's a charming show about a guy group out of the 50's (like the 4 Preps) who are making their "big break" into show biz - after they are already dead. (It's a very funny show, if you ever have the opportunity to see it, do so) Anyway, while reading about their appearances in local newspapers, the character of Jinx reads about a Bobby Darin appearance at a Holiday Inn!

--Joanne Romeo


Bobby & Joanne
Photo courtesy of Joanne Romeo, click for bigger image

Carol Felenstein shares this:

I used to work for BD at TM Music Inc. I met Sandra Dee several times. One night at a party at Ed Burton's house and several times when she came up to the office. A couple of times with Dodd who must have been 2 or 3 at the time. What a cutie he was. I worked for Bobby from 1963-1964. One year BD send me shopping to buy Sandra a suede coat (or jacket). I remember getting in the limo and going over to the east side of NYC to buy it for her for Valentine's Day. What fun!

--Carol Felenstein

Vinnie Marinello shares this:

BD was playing at the Copacabana in New York City. He had just announced that he was abandoning his usual flashy night club program" and play his own music. In Earl Wilson's column in the New York Post, BD revealed that he had fired his manager, entourage, etc and was going to handle everything personally. He felt that he wanted to take care of his own business,simplify his life and choose his own venues for his songs to be heard. A day or two later Bobby had received one of his worst reviews. It was reported that people were booing and walking out on his show.

I decided to take a chance to see if I could communicate with Bobby. I couldn't go to the show because I had pneumonia. I wrote a letter to BD/ in care of the Copacabana . In the 4 page letter, I made comments on his more obscure recording to let him know that I was a true Darin fan. I told him that he was my musical guide because he opened new musical world to me by following his path. I said that if he chose to write his music, he could count on one person that would buy his songs.

I expressed regret that I could not see the show because I was sick. I wistfully hoped that someday we would meet or communicate in some fashion. I did NOT ask him to write me.

On a cold winter Sunday morning, someone was ringing at my doorbell insistently. I was annoyed that I had get up and answer the bell, because my parents had gone to church. Imagine my surprise when the Western Union man told that he had a telegram for me. I hadn't the faintest idea who would send me a telegram.

When I opened the telegram, there was this message from Bobby:

"Dear Vinnie, Happy 1969. Thanks for your support."

It was a thrilling moment for me.

---Vinnie Marinello

Vinnie Marinello also shares this:

Back in 1971 -72, I was a belonged to a club (for singles) called Maximus. It was located in New York and it was very creative in staging events in which people could party. For example, we would go to a Broadway show and party with the cast, have a cocktail party on a docked 747, etc.

Maximus had a newsletter and decided to do a profile on me. I was living in Teaneck, New Jersey at the time. In the article, it listed my favorite singers and of course Darin was listed. It put a question mark after Darin's name because, to the writer, it seemed so unhip that this swinging bachelor would like the finger snapping singer.

I received a call from one of the lawyers from the organization. (sorry I can't remember his name)

He informed me that he knew Bobby back in his Bronx day. He recently had a dinner with Bobby. He brought the article about me and teased him that he had "one fan left in Teaneck, New Jersey." Darin got quite a kick out of being teased. The lawyer told me that BD was mounting a comeback and would soon have a summer TV program that was being groomed for a regular slot.

If you watched the TV show, there are a couple of instances, where BD, in the character of the Godmother, reaches in the mail bag and takes out a letter from someone from Teaneck, New Jersey. While we can't confirm it, my lawyer acquaintance and I were convinced that BD was referring to me when he was doing the skit. Contrary to popular opinion, those who intimately knew BD, were aware that at times he loved practical jokes and spoofing himself.

---Vinnie Marinello

This from Steve Caito

I am a standup comic, I live in Vegas and have opened for everyone from Frank (Sinatra) to The Smothers Brothers. I loved Frank, but Bobby Darin was the most well respected performer ever in Vegas. From busboys to Hotel execs, everyone loved Bobby. His musical conductor told me that when Bobby was sick, toward the end of his life, they would carry him to the stage, but he said something magical would happen when he hit the stage, and this very sick man would look like nothing was wrong with him. Bobby has been an inspriation to every performer who ever saw him work. He was a singer, actor and a comic. God bless Bobby Darin.

This comes from Colin Coggles, Leigh on Sea, Essex England:

In the early 1960s my father worked at a television studio in the East End of London and so often I was able to go along and watch the recording of various programmes. On one particular occasion a musical spectacular was taking place and since one of the performers was Duane Eddy, whom I particularly liked at that time, I took the opportunity of attending the performance. As the show got underway I watched first Clyde McPhatter plus some other supporting acts and then Duane performed a couple of his recent hits. As Mr "Guitar Man" Eddy finished I sat back and awaited the top of the bill.

Onto the stage walked a short young man, but although small of stature there was nothing small about the professional performance I was about to witness. From the very first notes he sang it was obvious that he had total confidence in his undoubted talent. Although he was reasonably young he portrayed a musical maturity far beyond his tender years. I was familiar with a few of his songs, as this young man with his finger-snapping style and knowing, twinkling eyes breezed his way through his expansive repertoire. It was the first chance that I had had to see him up close and in person. His easy relaxed yet when necessary energetic, enthusiastic and professional style immediately enthralled me, I had never seen before (nor since) a singer give such a polished and versatile performance. I quickly realised that I was watching someone very special.

You can imagine how thrilled I was when my father took me backstage after the show to meet my new hero. He was just as polite and friendly as he had appeared on stage when he asked me whether I had enjoyed the show and chatted to me for a few minutes. I was most impressed at how he had taken the time to converse with a 16 year old he had never seen before. He willingly signed my proffered autograph book and there for all posterity stood his signature - BOBBY DARIN.

That brief performance and meeting left a lasting impression on me and from that day I was hooked and went out and bought everything made by him and in the years that followed I purchased all his subsequent records that I could find.

I never got to see him again, but that one evening will live in my memory for all time.

In my humble opinion we shall never see such talent again.

--- Colin Coggles

Frank Abbadessa shares this:

I have been hooked on BD since I was 9. I'm 51 now. I met him outside of The Coconut Grove during his last engagement there. I would go every night. I had little money, so I would sit at the bar, as there was no cover charge. At the end of the show, as the people were giving him a standing ovation, I could hear BD behind the curtain alongside the bar area. He was cheering along with the crowd. I walked out through the lobby and there he was heading to the valet parking. As he waited for his jeep, I got his autograph. Man, was I nervous. He was really nice to me. I also said to him, "Bobby, I write to you all the time and you never write back." He said "Yeah, I'm not too good at that kid." Off he drove, by himself, down Wilshire Blvd. while the audience was still cheering. I have great memories of our meeting every time I drive by The Ambassador Hotel.

---Frank Abbadessa

Betty Robinson shares:

I worked as a long distance operator in the 1960's in Hackensack, NJ. Bobby Darin's sister lived in Maywood NJ. It was an exciting day when I got his sister calling him and Sandra person to person and got to hear their voices over the phone. At the time, I remember Bobby Darin had to get rid of an apple he was eating before he could say "This is he." I will never forget that day. What is sad is he died during open heart surgery and I have had open heart surgery at age 46 and lived. He will always be my favorite singer.

-- Betty Robinson

This from Johnny Gilbert

I am a friend of Gene Lees the noted author and jazz writer, and he has told me on numerous occasions of the admiration he holds for BD...As a matter of fact he informed me that years ago Roger Kellaway, a friend and collaborator of his called and said "Hey theres this kid singer that you have got to hear"...Needless to say it was BD he was referring to...Carol Kay the bassist told me that of all the singers she had worked with, and she has worked with them all, that Bobby Darin was the REAL singer of the lot...Jimmy Zito the eminent trombonist told me that BD had the best timing of any singer he has heard....Ronnie Zito is BD's drummer on the "Live at the Copa" CD .....Earl Coleman the only singer to record with Charlie Parker offered this "Bobby Darin is an extraordinary entertainer, as well as a dynamic singer of songs, He can make 'Funny Valentine' swing and that says it all." Jack Coan, formerly with the Basie band, had worked with Bobby several times. He once visited BD at his home in Beverly Hills and was amazed at the electronic equipment he had there. It was way ahead of its time and Bobby had several ideas THEN that are employed now.....Jack said that BD knew the function of every piece of complicated electronics that were set up there.

---Johnny Gilbert

Judy Anderson shares:

Bobby was the love of my life, my first love, in 1961 when I was 12 and saw Come September. It was also the first year I had a crush on a "real" boy, and Bobby's love songs were there for me in my ups and downs. I saw him perform three times, first at the Moulin Rouge in Hollywood around 1962, then, at the Coconut Grove in Hollywood, probably in '63, and last, at the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas, also probably '63.
My friend Stephanie and I were 14 years old when we met Bobby. At the Moulin Rouge, the fans were allowed to go backstage after the wonderful show and have their picture made with him. Right before the picture was taken, as we walked up to the place to stand for it, groping for something to say, I spoke to him about something I'd read about him in the paper, that he had hurt his finger in a freak accident. He was friendly and warm, he showed me his finger, the scar on it. He was personal. He was so special. In this picture, Stephanie is on Bobby's right and I am on the left, I have the black purse, she has the light colored one.
I had saved money in my piggy bank for our trip to the Flamingo Hotel performance, to tip the maitre d' so I could get a good seat. I didn't get a great seat, but after the show, the maitre d' told us (me and my parents) to come with him. He took us backstage, and Bobby had agreed to let us come back and meet him. There were no other fans, just me and my parents. He made small talk with my dad. He was just so warm and approachable. He really liked people, he really cared about people. I feel so lucky that of all the movie stars and teen idols I could've gotten hung up on, it turned out to be him.

--Judy Anderson

Ed Walters was a pitboss in Vegas throughout the sixties
and was a good buddy of Bobby's and Frank Sinatra's.
With the kind permission of Ed Walters and Rick Apt,
here are Ed's memories of Bobby Darin .

As a Pit Boss in Vegas, I came in contact with Darin a few times. He was a very interesting guy.

In the early 60’s he came to Vegas to play the Flamingo. He was very hot at the time. He had done a smash opening at The Copa in NY, in 1960. Can be heard on “Darin At The Copa,” Atlantic - 82629-2.

He came by, one afternoon, to the Sands to meet me about setting up a pool table in his suite at the Flamingo. The Movie, “The Hustler” was just out and pool was a very in thing with some celebrities.

We were a small town then and he got the word that I played very good and could help set him up. So we got together a few times and after his shows we would go to “The Greek’s” a local poolroom and play. He really wanted to play good....What was interesting was his special interest in Sinatra.

As we got to know each other, it became apparent that he wanted to find out from me all he could about how Sinatra worked at the Sands and what he wore etc. He would ask me who made his Tux’s (Sy Devore), his shirts (Nat Wise), his shoes ( I didn’t know). He wanted to know who introduced him and how, etc. Now to most of this I would tell him to just go and see Sinatra. But this where the other side of Bobby would show up. He would not go.

Interesting fellow, Bobby. When he and I would just be playing pool or having coffee he was a really nice, cool and humble guy. He was in awe of Sinatra, no doubt about it. But when others joined us or were around, he became “Cocky” and showed a lot of arrogance.

When Sinatra was out of town, he came to the Sands to see me and wanted to see the Copa Room. It was in the afternoon and I took him to the stage. He got on it and walked around. He was in heaven. He stood center stage and got the feel of the room and what it was like to play there. He took down the name of the speakers that were on the floor, right in front of the mike. He wanted to know the name of the speaker used in the room. I didn’t know any of this. He wanted to know what mikes Sinatra used. He wanted the name and model number. He even took down the name of the mike stand used in the Copa Room. Did Sinatra used this? I told him no. Sinatra has his own special stand and special mikes brought in and set up by his own people. Bobby wanted all of this. I told him I would do what I could.

I did try talking to our sound man. He handled all the sound setups in the showroom. His answer “No you can’t touch that stuff. It’s in locked storage and only Sinatra’s people set it up. I don’t know the model number and only he sets it up. Don’t ask me any more questions, ask Sinatra, he knows more about mikes and their frequency response than I do.”

I told Darin all this. He said he would get someone to find out. “I want to use what Sinatra is using.” So we have this soft, really sweet guy and the cocky, very self assured guy that went on stage.

I don’t care what he told the press. Sinatra was his model and in many ways his idol. He wanted to get to that place he felt Sinatra had. I believe this “competition” kept them apart.

I’ve only seen him here in Vegas and I can tell you he was a great entertainer. He put on one hell of a show. He drew the right people for us in the casino business. He is one of my personal favorites.

To see him singing "Mack the Knife’ and watch the audience of dressed people swinging in their seats is a sight.

I considered Bobby my friend, and a good one.

---Ed Walters, Las Vegas

The memory posted here is an intimate visit with Mr. Darin
that originally appeared on this site's Online message forum.

"I was a senior in high school and photographer for my high school news paper at South High in Minneapolis, MN. I was told Bobby was having a publicity/news conference at a downtown Hotel, The Leamington. I went and he was promoting his movie, 'If a Man Answers.' The hour alloted went fast and most everyone left and I shot pictures during the meeting with other high school journalists.

After it was over I took a picture of a friend with Bobby and was getting ready to leave and Bobby started talking to me. I told him how much I enjoyed 'Beyond the Sea', and that surprised him. He didn't think teens liked the big band sound. I also told him my love of 'Dream Lover' and its haunting romantic feeling and sound. He kept talking and invited me to his room. I gladly took the invitation.

A publicist left and Bobby and I sat and talked for several hours. He seemed rather lonely. He mentioned his love of Sandra Dee but got into a conversation about Connie Francis. He felt they would have been ideal and they wanted to record together but he said, 'unseen forces' kept them apart. I could tell he really cared for her. He talked about the fact he wasn't doing what he wanted to do and had to pressure his management people to let him do more Vegas and big band type material. He saw himself as a crooner. In fact, he said he hated 'Splish Splash' and hated doing it. 'I'm not against rock & roll. I just want music that will last and I don't think the rock stuff will,' he smiled. He asked my opinion on a number of subjects. I got the feeling he never had much input from fans. He was a chain smoker and was always drinking a bottle of Coke. I got up to leave and he shook my hand and thanked me for my time. When I walked out he walked over to a window and just stood there watching traffic. I never forgot those few hours."

--- Del Roberts

This next memory was posted in the sites guestbook:

"I remember back in the early 70s when Mr. Darin was doing his show we used to watch it, without fail. I was about 8 when my dad, mom and I went to Manhattan so my dad could get his glasses. I was sitting in the back seat and this car pulls up beside us and I look over and it's Mr Darin. He was looking down at his watch and I got all excited screaming and stuff like "mom it's him, look." He must have heard me cause he looked over, smiled, winked and then drove away. I've never forgotten that. It showed me what a nice guy he was...just to acknowledge a little kid."


Also from the guestbook...

"I first saw Bobby in person in the 50's in the San Jose, CA area, as an act to get people there to look at new homes. I later met Bobby in person in the 60's and he is the BEST!!!! He will ALWAYS be my favorite singer/performer! He offered my husband and I a ride after a taping of the Andy Williams show. I will always regret that we didn't accept (we were honest and told him we had our car there)."
-- Sydney Johnson

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