Bobby Darin and Nik Venet

The late producer Nik Venet had an impressive list of clients he worked with in his career including the Beach Boys, Tommy Sands, Jim Croce, Lou Rawls, Linda Ronstadt, Glen Campbell, and The Letterman. He had produced over 300 albums in his legendary career which spanned four decades. When asked in a interview who his favorite person to work with was, Mr. Venet responded "Bobby Darin."

Nik and Bobby became friends when they were both at the Brill Building in New York, sharing a cramped office space. They worked together at Capitol Records in LA when Nik produced him, the first being the single "If a Man Answers." Venet also produced Bobby's albums You're the Reason I'm Living and "Golden Folk Hits.

In an interview with WBAI radio New York in 1995, Nik was quoted as saying that Bobby Darin was "an amazing human being ... a man of great talents, many many talents." He also said of Darin: "One of his careers was more than any artist would want today ... he had three, four careers going at the same time ... he was adventurous ... Darin did it when nobody else was doing it, he crossed borders."

Speaking of their time working in the studio together he said, "Nothing ever went wrong in the studio, we could do a bad cut and have a great time, we would re-do it and have a better time." Of Bobby's multifaceted career, Venet said that Darin "Baffled everybody, he always came out on top ... he would take failure and study it, found out what went wrong, re-do it and turn in into a win ... nothing was ever lost on Darin ... everything he did he honestly believed in .... he did it all and he did it from the heart."

David Leaf and Brian Wilson at Nik's 60th birthday party.

Mr. Venet was often quoted as saying, "I think about Bobby once a day every day." As a tribute to Darin's legacy, Nik (along with Dodd Darin and Jeff Bleiel) was instrumental in bringing the Rhino Bobby Darin Box set As Long As I'm Singing to life, and Venet was still actively producing with his own Evening Star Records company.

Mr. Venet died of complications of Burkitts syndrome on January 2, 1998, but had never stopped working up until his last hospital stay. He still maintained a close relationship with Dodd (who spoke at "A Celebration of Nik Venet's Life" a memorial service held at The National Academy of Recordings Arts and Sciences a couple of days after his death.)

Nik Venet made a impact on the recording industry and his legacy will live on in his music. Mr. Venet is survived by a son, Nikolas Venet Jr. and long time companion Harriet Schock (who he produced on his label.)

Nik and Harriet

SOURCE: Discoveries Magazine, March 1998
WBAI NY Radio interview.

Nik Venet - The Last Session by Steve Schalchlin

Nik talks about Bobby.
An NPR Media Player Interview

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