The Darin Lifetime Event
Bobby Darin's Star!
On what would have been his 71st birthday, May 14, 2007, Bobby Darin was awarded a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars. This honor was accorded Darin in recognition of his achievements as a singer, songwriter, actor and legendary entertainer,
This richly deserved tribute is especially meaningful because the sponsorship fee was raised entirely by donations from the Darin fan community, with an exceptionally generous contribution from New York investment banker, Michael Cembalest, who stepped in early and wholeheartedly. Dodd Darin, Bobby's son, was also very generous and supportive on many different levels. The Bobby Darin Star Fund is so grateful to each of you who contributed to making this happen.
Raising the sponsorship fee for the star could not have been successful without the enormous help of the Darin web team and the Darin Estate. Jimmy Scalia is a Jersey boy you just have to love. His enthusiasm for all things Darin is contagious and because he began as a collector himself, he understands the importance of preserving and releasing what remains of Darin's work. He was a wonderful liaison with the Estate and Steve Blauner, who was very instrumental in securing a large donation and gave us his blessing. The web team was supportive from day one and not only designed the web page for us on their site, they were the oracle to whom one turned with any Darin question. They always had an answer and it was never "No."
A replica of the star itself was presented to Darin's brother Gary Walden at the Main Showroom of the Flamingo Hotel during the May 14th ceremony by the President of the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, Bob Alexander. Gary shared his memories of Bobby Darin from a personal perspective and moved us with his words. The beautiful granite star embedded in a three foot square concrete slab was placed in the sidewalk along Las Vegas Blvd., more commonly known as The Strip, in front of the Flamingo Hotel, where it will be admired by generations to come.
Several dignitaries from local and state government agencies were present to honor Darin, and May 14, 2007, was proclaimed Bobby Darin Day. Veteran Las Vegas entertainer, Tony Sacca opened the show with his version of Darin's huge hit, Mack the Knife. Darin was honored and remembered as a human being and great entertainer by musicians who worked with him, Bob Rozario, Bill Aikins and Tommy Amato. Each had warm tales to tell of Darin's professionalism as a musician and his integrity as a man.
Las Vegas entertainer Dennis Bono and his wife, former Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt-Bono shared their feelings about Darin and his impact. Official Bobby Darin Archivist Jimmy Scalia explained how he came to hold that position and why Darin meant so much to him personally and why his legacy is important in the
Wayne Newton, Mr. Las Vegas himself and the first recipient of a star along the Las Vegas Walk of Stars, was the final speaker. His professional history with Darin began when Darin signed him to a management contract while he was still part of an act with his brother. Darin then gave him the song "Danke Shoen" and continued to produce most of his early records. His tribute to Darin was both poignant and funny.
Several colleagues and friends of Darin's who could not be present sent their
Mr. Ensler was followed by a glorious gift from Dodd Darin, Steve Blauner and Jimmy Scalia. Newly discovered versions of Bobby Darin singing "Weeping Willow" and "Manhattan in My Heart" were played with accompanying video footage and left the audience both speechless and breathless. The massive talent of Bobby Darin was on display for all to see and hear and was a fitting close to the ceremony.
The ceremony was followed by a reception in the same Main Showroom of the Flamingo. The all red room, still configured as it was in the Golden Age of Nightclubs, was a perfect setting for the events of the day. The centerpieces of "Eighteen Yellow Roses" with golden stars handmade by Sarah Charbonneau of Maui, were a bright counterpoint to the red leather. Thanks are due the staff of the Flamingo who each did their jobs professionally and provided great food and services.
Bobby Darin is indeed a legendary entertainer who is remembered as he had wished to be, as a "human being and great entertainer."
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