Reviews of Bobby Darin in concert during his amazing career.
January 26, 1966 -- FLAMINGO HOTEL, LAS VEGAS --
After an absence of two and one-half years Bobby Darin is back in the Flamingo Room with an exciting act which is even better than the
one he had here when he established the showroom's all-time attendance and crowd turn-away record -- an honor
he still holds.
Darin is one of the few nitery performers who click with all age groups. Despite his youth, he's a
real pro with his song delivery, his stage presence, and his entertaining patter.
He's one of the better mimics and devotes a very funny 10 minutes to impreshes of such celebs as
Cagney, Grant, Brando, Martin and Lewis. His well-paced turn at on point features a medly of all his top
and he does an interestingly dramatic (without music) version of "Brother Can You Spare a Dime?"
with a topical segue into "King of the Road."
Darin gets laughs with a guitar bit, and winds with a rousing arrangement of "One of Those Songs."
Maestro Richard Wess does a superb job of coordinating the session as middle man between Darin and the fine
Russ Black Orchestra (29).
Ringsiding Groucho Marx, when introduced, summed up the first-nighter reaction to Darin: "When I first
saw you, you were only a singer. Now you're a singer and an actor."
For more on this performance go here.
August 24, 1966 -- FLAMINGO HOTEL, LAS VEGAS --
Now that Bobby Darin is
back in town, the Strip has two top-liners who are responsible for past attendance records in thier respective
showrooms -- Darin at the Flamingo and Donald O'Connor at the Sahara.
Darin's current turn is as electric, exciting and strong as ever, he's an outstanding showman, a fact
which embellishes his tone versatility. His stage savvy blends neatly with his pleasant patter between songs,
which include "Don't Rain on My Parade," and of course, "Mack the Knife," among others. He winds with an
overwhelming "Canaan's Land."
His impression segment again proves uncanny ability to carbon other celebs. Roger Kellaway conducts
the Russ Black Black Orchestra (29) for Darin, and Hugo Granata should get special credit for the vivid lighting.
Richard Pryor makes his Vegas debut on this bill, and the young comedian scored consistantly with first
nighters through the Bill Cosby school of reminiscing and identifiable storytelling. His wonderfully kookie style
slaughters such subjects as New York, school plays and TV commercials.
September 21, 1966 -- HARRAH'S, RENO --
Since Bobby Darin first toiled for
the Harrah's on the bill with George Burns in the old South Shore Room at Tahoe in May 1959, he has developed into
an astute personality, as evidenced by his disclicks, film and video work and his headline status in the important
rooms on the nitery circuit. In this preem date at Harrah's he gives evidence for the justified escalation. He's
assured, confident -- and displays promanship.
On for 45 minutes, he varigates with pops, ballads and spirituals, mimes a diverse list of entertainers,
self accomps with guitar, and tosses in a bit of terpology. He tees with "Don't Rain on My Parade" follows with a
vocalog that touches all bases. He puncuates the uptempo then resorts to free-flow patterns for the ballads and the
slower titles. Latter category includes (in part) "Once Upon a Time" essayed with sensitivity and emotion.
April 19, 1967 -- HARRAH'S, LAKE TAHOE --
Back on the Harrah's Tahoe marquee,
after an absence of four years Bobby Darin reprises bascially the same act he showcased in his preem outing at Harrah's
Reno, last September. He remains a class endeavor with promanship all the way. Musical arrangements are superb and
singer has the know-how to sell each tune for ultimate effect. He's also developing high proficiency along comedy
lines as evidenced in a session miming other show biz names.
He initials on "Don't Rain on My Parade" and demeanor suggests complete confidence and assurance. It's retained
for the full 45 minutes of variegated song and chatter. The lush, luminous charts (credited to his 88er-conductor, Roger
Kellaway), provide colorful drops for Darin's discriminating interpretations of "Got You Under My Skin," "Charade," "If
I Were a Carpenter" and "18 Yellow Roses." His "Mack the Knife" earns big response ditto for a lilting declination
of "Shadow of Your Smile." For the fun stanza he mixes spoonerisms into the banter, as he employs "One for My Baby"
as vehicle to demo his aptitude for carboning the likes of Cagney, Brando, Walter Brennan, Burt Lancaster, Gable,
Robert Mitchum, others. He is accomplished at both vocal and physiognopmic mimicry. Troubodor also touches on C&W and
rock, and takes a short stand at the Steinway before wrapping with "That's All."
June 12, 1968 -- MR. D's --
Mr. D's, San Francisco's newest supper club and touted
as the largest, opened grandly with a classy, polished one man show by Bobby Darin, backed by a 23-piece orchestra.
For openers, Darin gave them an impressive solo show. Like that other Mr. D, Sammy Davis Jr. Darin is the complete
entertainer. He sings extremely well out of every pop bag from ballads to a hard rocking "Splish Splash," his own
composition, and at his best, as in "If I Were A Carpenter" with a thrilling guitar and flute backing is great. He
accompanies himself on occasion on a very competent guitar and piano, moves like a dancer, snaps patter, clowns
and does imitations,especially funny ones of Rex Harrison and Tony Bennett. One imitation, that of Ray Charles was
unannounced and serious.
The audience demands his own "Mack the Knife" and rather than just run through again, he brings freshness by
mocking and playing with it.
July 10, 1968 -- ROOSTERTAIL, DETROIT --
Bobby Darin has changed his act for the better
since he was here last September. The biggest change is the pace, which he has quickened considerably. He practically charges
on stage and launches a series of rhythm numbers with the musicians who are traveling with him leading the Terry Harrington
Roostertail Orchestra in a very exciting uptempo beat.
Darin runs through three numbers in great style and with more body motion and footwork than remembered during his
last outing before he informs the capicity audience at Tom and Terry Schoesmiths Roostertail that he has a sore throat
and was hoarse. Although not apparent up to there, the hoarseness did become noticable in the next number "Someone to Watch
Over Me". As soon as he got back the beat, however in "Mack the Knife," the voice problem seemed non-exsistent to the auditors
and remained hardly bothersome throughout the hour turn, except for the occasional ballads.
Darin has changed his excellant mime act from the "Method Drunk" who "sees" the stars to a clever parody of "Dr.
Dolittle." He impersonates Rex Harrison fairly well and then, while singing "Talk to the Animals" smoothly works in the
voices of Jimmy Cagney, Cary Grant, Clark Cable, Jimmy Stewart, Walter Brennan, Robert Mitchum, Tony Bennett, et.al.
Darin bowed at this point but was brought back. He introduces his musicians who are augmenting The Terry Harrington
Orchestra and they deserve the praise he lavishes on them. Robert Rosario is his conductor-pianist, Larry Beaver, a real
tiger on the drums, Bobby Dunn and Joey Lemon on guitars and Barry Chapman on sax. All are excellant musicians and the Harrington
Orchestra never sounded better.
Darin takes a turn on the guitar for some fun cornpone, sings some more, then winds with some excellant pianistics.
Hoarse voice and all, it's a high class act all the way.
June 3, 1970 -- LANDMARK,LAS VEGAS --
Bobby Darin is back and he brought "Mack the Knife"
with him. On his last two trips here, he billed himself as "Bob Darin," concentrated mainly on message songs, wore denims. He
had a fine act, but it didn't commercially click with Vegas cross-section audiences.
This time around, Darin compromises -- but not enough to sacrifice his integrity -- and tosses a few which which are
expected "Mack," "Spinning Wheel," and "Everybody's Talkin' at Me." The slight surrender (he still has the denims) results
in a strong excellant turn. Early Darin diehards may miss his accurate celeb impreshes, but even a brief sampling probably
would hamper the flow of the turn.
Charts are outstanding, and most were written by Quitman Dennis, who batons Darin's back-up 11 musicians. Initialing
with "And When I Die" the personable singer, in his interestingly identifiable tones tosses such as "City Life" (which he
cleffed) "Carpenter," "Simple Song of Freedom" and a stirring salute to Aretha Franklin, winding with a wild "Spirit in
the Dark" while on 88.
September 16, 1970 -- LANDMARK,LAS VEGAS --
Both sides now of Bobby Darin will make
it a smashing month at the Landmark. It's all music, from Darin's opening seg of earlier styled belting (if not the same
old finger-snapping zippies) through his closing period, as the folk minstrel for the wrapup.
He has a way with audiences, with his sharp remarks usually managing to get to all ages represented in the room.
His vocalog also grooves to young and elder with mostly overground tunes. Recourse to yesterday is the top pop in his
catalog, "Mack the Knife" with "Sweet Caroline" and "Hi-De-Ho" very strong in the current carton, equaled by a powerful
Darin also has a triptych of folkways. "Midnight Special," "Carpenter" and his own "Simple Song of Freedom" to keep
his stock on high level. He accomps himself many instances on acoustic guitar and a driving wailing harmonica, both of
which add heavy accents.
January 27,1971 -- DESERT INN,LAS VEGAS --
Back in his old snappy form, Bobby Darin
hits off very well with the assorted junketers and middle-roaders who populate tables here. Remembering his "Mack the
Knife" chiefly, they give him a torrent of enthusiastic applause for his inclusion, with other kudosings receding in
ratio for "If I Were a Carpenter," "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" and his kindergarther tune "Splish Splash."
The rest of his log has some very current ties in presentation, with a Beatles medley winning plenty of approval
and his own "Simple Song of Freedom" achieving very respectable results.
Darin has very strong support from the Jeannie Thomas singers, a trio of lasses who send out warm waves of sound
to blend with the leaders notes. Quitman Dennis performs fender bass while leading the muchly pared-down Carleton Hayes
Orchestra, and his influence in the charts and directions is noticeable. Other solid rhythmickers are Terry Kellman guitar,
Tommy Amato drums, and Billy Aiken piano.
September 30, 1972 -- HILTON HOTEL,LAS VEGAS --
Bobby Darin will be the next performer
to join the select rank of what is termed Las Vegas Superstar. His Hilton outing is probably the best of his career.
His personality is colorful, his music ranging from "Mack the Knife" when he takes off his tie after coming on
stage in a blue pin stripe suit to discarding the coat and playing the harmonica on "Midnight Special."
It's Bobby Darin as his fans loved him and it's Bobby Darin that strangers will soon learn to love. He offers
his 1966 Tim Hardin written hit "If I Were a Carpenter" and then the 1969 song Darin wrote for Hardin "A Simple Song of
All his selections are backed with a hard, steady beat. He is backed by three voices known as "The Last Chapter"
and The Joe Guercio Orchestra.
Opening the strong bill is singer Shirley Bassey. Her voice is dramatic, on key and powerful. Bassey and Darin are
singers who work well together, each having their own styles, which happen to be poles apart. Nevertheless, they compliment
Thanks to Billy Polito for this photo.
Thanks to John Goldsmith at WGEL Radio FM 101.7, home of The Goldies Oldies Show
and to Bruce Kellhlar for contributing these newspaper clippings!
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