Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Weekly Dose of Darin - As Long as I'm Singing

“And if this band don't desert me
Then there's nothin'
In the world can hurt me”

The gala return of a Dose of Darin, after my brief and extremely eventful respite (working, sleeping, drinking Brooklyn Lager at House of Brews – ah, those days were full and fruitful), is a tad atypical. A “Dash of Darin” might even be a more appropriate moniker for, this week, we reveal a Bobby Darin that could really cook. And not “cook” as expressed by faux-50’s, jazz-hipsters, or by their modern-day equivalent, Williamsburg residents - but literally, “cook,” as in “preheat the oven to 450 degrees” cook. In my eager and incessant endeavor to search out, seek and share only the most critical, most vital and most essential documents in the vast and varied annals of human-kind - the Magna Carta, the lost Shakespeare Sonnets, Decision Points – “…and several butcher’s aprons,” presents with much pride, pleasure and even a certain degree of smug, self-satisfaction – Robert Walden Cassotto’s personal creamed spinach recipe. And I can already sense the elation and excitement coursing through the internet tubes. Oh, the hours, the effort, the sources one must scour to continually uncover new fascinating, captivating and enthralling information – or in this case, the email one has to open. For this bit of research, I must confess, no blood was drawn, no sweat was dripped and no tears were shed, I simply rediscovered an email sent a little over a decade ago when a friend and I were going through our creamed spinach phase. And after all, as painful as it sometimes may be, who among us hasn’t experienced a creamed spinach phase? Now, from the celebrity cookbook, "Singers & Swingers in The Kitchen" by Roberta Ashley, Bobby Darin’s creamed spinach. I have not prepared this myself, but if any of you do, feel free to comment and share your results.

Bobby’s Favorite Spinach
(Serves 6)

2 packages frozen chopped spinach
3 tablespoons butter (or margarine) 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons flour 1 cup milk (or light cream) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2
teaspoon ground nutmeg

Follow the directions on the spinach boxes; drain thoroughly when cooked.
Melt the butter over low, low heat; add the onion and cook until the onion
is soft, stirring every so often. Remove from the heat; mix in the flour
(no lumps now). Add the milk slowly, and cook until it's thick. Stir in
salt and nutmeg, and then mix this sauce into the drained spinach. Heat a
bit longer over a low flame.

A Fictional Bobby Darin Sighting -

Yesterday, Kevin Spacey and I happened to be lunching in the same dining establishment – Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant, Maze. Nothing of any great import occurred - Spacey was not warbling in a bright yellow suit, and Ramsay did not appear to be present, and so we were not privileged to enjoy his always appealing lack of charm or his vulgar manner.

This Week in Darin History -

On November 19th, 1967, Bobby Darin appeared on the Debbie Reynolds television special, “And Debbie Makes Six,” other guests included Frank Gorshin, Jim Nabors, Donald O’ Connor and Bob Hope. It appears that Darin had no solo numbers but rather performed a few duets with Reynolds.

Almost exactly three years later, in 1970, Bobby made a guest appearance on the November 20 episode of the Flip Wilson Show, where he sang the song, “Melodie,” and with Wilson and Roy Clark, “Who Takes Care of the Caretaker’s Daughter.”

And on November 17th, 1959, Bobby Darin guest-starred on the TV special, “George Burns in the Big Time,” alongside some amazingly important and historical performers who, unfortunately, are very likely mostly forgotten today - Eddie Cantor, George Jessel and Jack Benny. Darin performed, “Clementine.” We’ll delve substantially more into George Burns and his place in Bobby Darin’s personal and professional life sometime in the near future.

A Double Dip of Darin -

Lastly, we conclude with another fun look at an original Darin composition, first as performed by Bobby himself, and then as covered by another artist.

Released as a Capitol single in 1962 and performed here on a January 1964 episode of “The Jack Benny Program,” here’s a really great clip (I know I always say that) and a great find - Bobby Darin and “As Long as I’m Singing,”

And from the 1998 album, “The Dirty Boogie,” the Brian Setzer Orchestra with their interpretation of the very same song.


  1. It's amazing to me that Darin, and others, thought creamed spinach and a thick steak were health food for the heart. I'd give a LOT for the entire Flip show with Melodie. I'm just oddly fascinated by the crummy studio version we have where he screws up, for reasons I simply cannot understand. Thanks once again for a dose of just what the doctor ordered.

  2. All is in proper perspective now, a Dose of Darin is Back. Surely BD's recipe for creamed spinach is a hidden aphrodisiac, and a double of dip of Darin is well. Ah,life is good!


  3. This man could sing absolutely anything, couldn't he. What a special talent. I regret that I never had the opportunity to see him perform in person.
    Thank goodness for video.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. I second everyone else's sentiment: thanks for sharing. Where did your love of all things Darin begin?
    I decided to order some Darin music for myself and found out that Amazon has an entire Bobby Darin Store. Who knew?!

  5. Thanks all, for both reading and especially for taking the time to comment. While I realize that steak and creamed spinach are not exactly the finest things for anyone's health, I have to admit that I wasn't actually kidding about a "creamed spinach phase," and just writing this drove me to make reservations for next week at Capital Grille. As far as my interest in Bobby Darin, my Mom was a fan and still has the original Atco single of Mack the Knife, so basically I grew up with his music. Later on, as an adult, I read a bio and was very taken with his great life story and began developing a project based on his tale. It's currently stalled but I hope to resume it fairly soon. Consequently, I immersed myself in his work and his life and realized what an amazing talent he was and I just like the idea that I can do my tiny little bit to try to make sure that he is not forgotten and hopefully appreciated by others. I started this blog primarily to vent my lefty political opinions, always with tongue in cheek and with the hopes that what I write will be entertaining, and the Darin posts just kind of evolved from trying to keep things light and interesting. Again, to everyone who is nice enough to check in and share their thoughts - sincerely, I can't thank you enough. I love writing but doing this takes much more time and effort than I ever anticipated, and the fact that some people enjoy the blog truly warms my heart and makes it a really satisfying endeavor. You guys are great. nycityman