Quotes about the Late Great Bobby Darin!



Quotes from:

Gracie: A Love Story by George Burns

Liner booklet from the Rhino boxed set,
As Long as I'm Singing: The Bobby Darin Collection

My Name Is Love: The Darlene Love Story
by Darlene Love with Rob Hoerburger

Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music by Judy Collins

From the book Gracie: A Love Story by George Burns.
Submitted by to Gail Glaze

Page 295-296 -- "... so I decided to go back onstage. I put together an act in which I did a monologue, told a few jokes, and sang a few old songs, then I convinced Bobby Darin and the DeCastro Sisters and Brascia and Typee, a great dancing act, to work with me, and signed to play Las Vegas... Afterward I asked her what she [Gracie] thought of the show. She didn't hesitate. 'Wasn't Bobby Darin wonderful?' she said. Bobby Darin was wonderful, I loved Bobby Darin."

From the Rhino booklet As Long as I'm Singing: The Bobby Darin Collection.
Submitted by Cath Hodson

Henry Mancini, Page 8 -- "He has a way with a song that seems to be able to hit, because he's got an inherent sense of dramatics. It's in his singing, it's in his writing, and it's in his acting. Being around Bobby when he's performing or when he's getting ready to perform is like being in a buzz saw factory, because he just has so much energy, energy and excitement, that he has to let it out -- it's just that infectious."

Jimmie Haskell, Arranger/Conductor, Page 9 -- "Bobby Darin was a greatly talented man who would have gone on to even greater fame and glory had he lived longer. In working with Bobby, he displayed to me the utmost intelligence, warmth, and quiet humor. I'm glad I had the privilege of working with him."

Dick Clark, Page 14 -- "Bobby Darin was my friend. I could write books about my feelings for the man. He made a profound personal impact on my life. I miss him. Fortunately for all of us, his music can still touch us. Bobby was an extraordinarily versatile artist, and this collection reflects his enormous talent."

George Burns – Page 17 – “I heard 'Splish Splash' and there was a little excitement in the record. I wanted to meet this kid, so I sent for him. He cam in, and he was a cute little guy, about 22 years old -- darling little boy. And I told him I'd like to take him to Vegas. I asked him to sing a song, and he got up and he sang a song, and I took him to Vegas. Right after that, 'Mack the Knife' happened. Well, you know what happened to Bobby Darin after 'Mack the Knife.' He skyrocketed, he went right through the roof. And the following year I sent for Bobby Darin, and I said, 'Bobby, how about Vegas?' He says, 'Okay.' I sang him a song, and he took me.

Sandra Dee, Page 19 – "Genius is close to madness and sometimes, yeah, it got in the way. He was simply one of a kind."

Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Page 18 – "People who knew him used to say about Bobby Darin that success never went to his head, that he was just as arrogant a little SOB before he cut his first record as he was after becoming a headliner. He seemed no less confident before 'Splish Splash' than he was after 'Mack the Knife.' Whatever doubts (if any) Bobby may have ever had about his talents, they were not to be shared. Ahmet Ertegun brought 'the new kid' around to a session we were producing and introduced him to us. What we remember most about our first meeting was Bobby saying, 'Hey man, I'm gonna make it.'"

Dion, Page 20 – "I first met Bobby Darin in '58, the day we started our first tour together. 'Splish Splash' was riding high on the charts. He had just come from his Army physical and told me about having a rheumatic heart since childhood. Bobby knew he would probably never be drafted and would probably never even live to see his 27th birthday. Bobby said he had a lot to accomplish and was in a hurry. His desire to achieve took him ten years beyond his own expectations. He was a music lover -- Ray Charles, Johnny Mercer, Tim Hardin. He took from the best, but when it came out, it was always pure Darin. He was an original. He was great to be around. I miss him."

Nik Venet, Producer, Page 21 – “If you're ever up in Big Sur and you visit Pfeiffer Beach under a full moon, and you pause for a couple of minutes, I promise you, you'll hear Bobby Darin singing 'Beyond the Sea.'"

Ben Gazzara, Page 22 – “His talent as an actor is very much evident on a nightclub floor. That's what makes his work so wonderful.”

Gregory Peck, Page 23 – “Bobby was already one of the great showmen, and it was certainly no surprise to me that Bobby could act and bring the same exciting qualities to his acting that he had been bringing to his singing and to his performances in clubs. He goes all out. That's pretty much a requirement of any real performer. He has lots of courage, takes chances, gives all of himself. Of course, Bobby comes over sometimes a little brash, a little tough, but I ghink that's a quality that Americans like, especially because Bobby conveys pathos. Bobby, in his work, is touching, he's moving, he's a human being, and that's a pretty good combination I think.

Steve Lawrence, Page 24 – “Bobby was one of the best entertainers in the business; he was also a very talented composer. I'd record a Bobby Darin song tomorrow.”

Steve Blauner, Bobby Darin's manager, Page 26 – "I remember the many arguments I had with Bobby about the public and the critics not allowing him to 'musically be all things to all people.' Having a super-talented artist who was as comfortable with rock 'n' roll, country, blues, and jazz as he was with a standard, and who had the guts to try it all, raised career concerns in my head; the manager simply trying to do the right thing. Thank goodness he didn't listen. You're holding the proof of just how right he was. It feels great to have been wrong!"

Roger McGuinn, Page 28 – “When I asked Bobby Darin for advice on how to become a success in the entertainment business, he said, 'The most important thing is to get up in front of audiences as much as you can. It doesn't matter how good you are in front of your mirror at home. You have to test yourself under fire.' That was typical of Bobby's attitude of professionalism. He was from the old school of show business that didn't tolerate sloppy dress, lateness, or drugs. He was always in tune, on time, and ready to commit himself whole-heartedly to whatever task was at hand. Bobby was not easy to work for, but I learned more about the entertainment business in two years working with him than most people learn in a lifetime. He was a great talent, and I miss him.”

Bobby Darin (on delivering what his fans want), Page 31 – “The public tells you what they want you to do and what they want to see you do and if they would pay to see you. 'Mack' and 'Beyond the Sea' and 'Some of These Days,' were done with my treatment of those standards, and that was the bag the country had clearly and simply defined for me, either to listen to you do or pay to see you do. And as long as I wear the mantle 'performer' -- and I don't take any back seats in that area -- I must do that; I must just do that. If I decide one day to private-island it, so to speak, you know, and I want to entertain me and a handful of people that I know, well, then I'll make that decision and not answer to public taste or public demand.”

Brian Setzer, Page 32 – “You see, the reason Bobby Darin excelled in all of these areas was because he had 'moxie.' (Does anybody still say that?) At the heart of Bobby's being was a belief in himself and a belief in, well, how about just plain music? Now that's novel! Whether he was rockin' and rollin' or wrapping a big band around himself (and who wouldn't want to wrap themselves in a big band?), it was always Bobby singing, Bobby writing, Bobby in charge of his own publishing company, and Bobby slaying his audiences. Bobby, to me, rocked twice as hard as that other bobby-soxer, and he never let up. Darin, like Eddie Cochran, didn't emerge from a cookie cutter mold like so many other '50s idols. He reached down inside, grabbed it, and laid it on the table. Yeah, Bobby was way real. I think he kinda slipped through the cracks though, like an autumn New York City thunderstorm that rocks the town, then slowly passes and leaves everything clean and new.”

Sammy Davis Jr. (upon meeting Bobby and hearing "Splish Splash"), Page 42 – "I'm black, and he's got the rhythm.”

Bobby Darin (on recording), Page 43 – “It's not a very mechanical kind of industry. Maybe I'm not jaded enough for it to be mechanical. If I've heard a song for the first time on Tuesday and thought it should be recorded by me, then I liked to get in Tuesday night or Wednesday morning at the latest, and do it, and then have it out Thursday.”

Billy Vera, Singer/Bandleader, Page 50 – "Bobby Darin was a great entertainer, a great singer, an actor with no mean skills, and a terrific songwriter. He was, as the wise guys like to say, 'voisatile.' As a tunesmith, he could rock out, as in 'Splish Splash' or 'Queen of the Hop." Or he could be tender, as in 'Dream Lover' or 'I'll Be There.' And he could write and sing country & western tunes like 'You're the Reason I'm Living' with complete authenticity.”

Joel Dorn, Producer, Page 53 – “If he were alive, Doc Pomus, not I, would be writing these notes. I was, and remain, a big Bobby Darin fan, but I only knew him casually. He and Doc were real friends and held each other in the highest esteem, both personally and professionally. Doc had a way of comparing good singers to great singers. He used to say, 'The good singers, no matter how good they are at it, can only sing one kind of song. But the great ones can sing anything.' Doc considered Darin one of the great ones. It'll be a long time before we see one like him again.”

From the book My Name Is Love: The Darlene Love Story , by Darlene Love with Rob Hoerburger.
Submitted by Dik de Heer

Page 49 -- " Early in 1962, we (The Blossoms (Darlene, Gloria Jones, Fanita James) ) had one of the two best sessions of my career, with Bobby Darin, who was recording an album of Ray Charles songs for Atlantic. Of the literally thousands of songs I have sung on, I have rarely felt as strong a connection to the material as I did during those sessions. The songs - "(The Night Time Is) The Right Time", "I Got a Woman", and "Drown in My Own Tears" - moved something inside me the way spirituals did, maybe because they were like secular spiritual songs, and because Bobby did justice to them. He didn't sound black, but he was true to the spirit of the songs. Ray himself was experimenting in those days with his country-and-western album, and I think Bobby was doing the same by recording R&B songs. He wasn't trying to mimic Ray. He was just showing his love for the man and his music, and it came through. We worked on this album in Los Angeles every day for two weeks, three or four hours a day. Bobby was a true gentleman, very quiet, very professional, always telling us how glad he was that we were making this record with him, as if he needed us to give the sessions credibility. He was married to Sandra Dee at the time, and one day she came bubbling into the studio. "Bobby was just raving about you girls, so I just had to meet you for myself", she said. The album, "Bobby Darin Sings Ray Charles", didn't sell very well, but it was a high-water mark in all our careers. No matter how many show tunes or folk tunes he was famous for, he really was one of rock 'n' roll greatest singers. We would find out years later that Bobby had a weak heart - it gave out on him in 1973, when he was thirty-seven - but that's probably because he poured so much of it into his records."

From the book Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: by Judy Collins.

Page 138 -- "I was unprepared for Darin's sophistication, his down-to-earth humor, and his wonderful voice. He came onstage, dark haired, slender, almost boy like, and showered us with gentle banter between songs and a light touch in his manner. He was dressed in a shirt and trousers, no jacket, and his manner was very personal and direct."

"When he began to make records, he made intriguing choices: "The Rock Island Line," ... ... "Splish Splash," ... ... and Weill's "Mack the Knife," ... ... Charles Trenet's "La Mer," which Darin called "Beyond the Sea" ... ... and a beautiful and still haunting version of Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter." Hearing Bobby today, I am moved and amazed at the range of his musical choices. They are brilliant, and totally Bobby Darin. Or totally Walden Robert Cassotto, which is the name he was given at birth."

Thanks to Dik de Heer, Gail Glaze and Cath Hodson
for compiling these quotes!


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