Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Sunday Dose of Darin - Charade

“I’m Bobby Darin, and I’m going to be a star. I think you should know me. I think you should write about me. I think you should pay attention to me.” - Bobby Darin, age 17

This week, rather than write about the song and the particulars of the performance - which is exceptional, of course - I want to share a little bit of Bobby Darin’s biography. His life was dramatic and fascinating, and his personal story provides an interesting perspective for his professional accomplishments.

At the age of 8, Bobby Darin was stricken with rheumatic fever which left him with a severely weakened heart and recurring health problems that would plague him the rest of his tragically short life. At 9, he overheard a doctor tell his mother that, even with the best of care, Bobby would be lucky to see his 16th birthday, Darin knew from this very early age that he was destined to die young. As illustrated by the opening quote, he could often come across as overly-confident, even arrogant. In reality, Bobby Darin was an extremely driven man who, rather than give up on life, used his unfortunate situation as motivation to achieve as much as he possibly could in the time that he was allotted.

“I want to make it faster than anyone has ever made it before. I’d like to be the biggest thing in show business by the time I’m 25 years old.”

At 32, now an international star, a multiple Grammy Award Winner and an Oscar nominee - having survived beyond any realistically anticipated life-expectancy, and having surpassed even the very lofty career goals that he had set for himself - Bobby Darin received some traumatic news from which he never fully recovered. His sister, Nina, revealed to him that she was, in actuality, his mother and that the woman he lived 3 decades believing was his mother, was really his grandmother.

“My whole life has been a lie.”

Bobby Darin was quite the astute 17 year old. He did, indeed, become a star. Through his numerous talents, and his body of work, we did get to know him. And now, 37 years after his passing, we’re still writing about him, and still paying attention to him.

“My goal is to be remembered as a human being and as a great performer.”

Another goal accomplished.

From the 1964 album, “From Hello Dolly to Goodbye Charlie,” music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer - Bobby Darin and “Charade.”


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