Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Sunday Dose of Darin - If a Man Answers

Gonna hang this phone up now and dial again
Ooh … and there better be a soprano
On the other end

The Bobby Darin/Sandra Dee film, “If a Man Answers,” premiered in Chicago, 48 years ago today. The romantic comedy co-starred John Lund, Cesar Romero, Micheline Presle and Stephanie Powers. I found a small number of reviews from the period, but why ruin a perfectly pleasant day. Suffice it to say, despite a few critical barbs, the film did receive two Golden Globe nominations, one for Best Motion Picture - Comedy, and the second for Best Supporting Actor for Romero. It was the fifth and final film release for Darin in 1962, an impressively prolific year. But perhaps best of all, it featured the title theme written and performed by Bobby Darin - and that song is this week’s Sunday Dose of Darin.

By all indications, autumn seemed to be a particularly active time of year for Bobby Darin throughout his career, so let’s take a quick look at a few more noteworthy events that occurred around this date.

October 5, 1959 - “Mack the Knife” hit number one on the record charts where it remained for the next nine weeks. Darin’s signature tune earned him two Grammy wins, one for Best New Artist and the other for Record of the Year. Karaoke bar patrons are forever grateful. On this very same date, “That’s All,” the album from whence the song came, entered the Billboard LP charts where it eventually rose to the seventh position, charting for 52 weeks.

October 6, 1959 - At 23, Bobby Darin became the youngest performer ever to headline at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.

October 9, 1964 - Darin co-starred with Janet Leigh on the Bob Hope Chrysler Theatre, in an episode entitled, "Murder in the First."

October 8, 1966 - The Tim Hardin composition, "If I Were a Carpenter," entered the Billboard top 40. It eventually earned Bobby another Grammy nomination, this one for Best Contemporary Rock and Roll Solo Vocal Performance. In losing out to Paul McCartney for “Eleanor Rigby,” I guess you would say that you can, indeed, judge a man by the company he keeps. The song has been covered by dozens of performers including June Carter and Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Small Faces, Bob Seger, The Animals, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte and the list, like Stephen Bishop, goes on and on. Nevertheless, as surely as one thinks of Darin when thinking of “Mack the Knife,” the same can probably also be said for “If I Were a Carpenter.”

October 9, 1966 - Bobby Darin appeared on the Andy Williams Show with Anthony Newley & the great Nancy Wilson. He performed Jerry Herman’s, “Mame” - that being the song, not the entire musical comedy, as interesting as that attempt might have been.

From the film of the same name, released as a single on September 17, 1962, Bobby Darin and “If a Man Answers.”


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  3. That's so kind of you to say. I'm grateful, and very glad you enjoy it.