Who was/is Bobby Darin ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Bobby Darin

The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame – the list of performers, not the museum in Cleveland – has often generated its share of controversy; most often having to do with the credentials of one inductee or another. More specifically, "was that artist 'rock 'n' roll'?"

The question has been raised relative to soul men and women, folk artists, country singers, rappers, and Miles Davis. Not to slight their contribution to music, generally, but do they belong in the same Hall of Fame as (say) Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley?

Steve Blauner, Bobby Darin's long-time manager and even longer-time friend, heard that question often, stemming from Darin's induction in 1990 – the same year as The Who, Hank Ballard, The Kinks, The Platters, The Four Tops, The Four Seasons, and Simon & Garfunkel.

You see the problem? Even more than some of the others, Darin stood out: Mister Mack The Knife, wasn't he? The man who, during a very brief 37 years on Earth, made his greatest and arguably most lasting mark as a tuxedoed finger-snapper, fronting a big band and wowing adult audiences at New York's Copacabana and in Las Vegas?

Well, it's a little more complicated than that.

"He almost didn't get into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame," says Blauner, "because put on a bow tie. But all of those people back then wanted to be Bobby – he was their Sinatra." And by "back then," Blauner is talking about before Mack The Knife, when Bobby Darin was scuffling the New York streets, looking for a hit; any kind of hit.

In fact, Bobby Darin was singing and playing before rock 'n' roll even existed. This compilation gathers several – but hardly all – of Darin's more rocking sides, a mere sampling of a musical career that went from calypso to rock 'n' roll; from Sinatra-styled pop to country and folk. And all before Darin died from a defective heart at the age of 37 on December 20, 1973.

The Calypso Years

Bobby was raised by the women he knew as his mother, sister and brother-in-law in Manhattan's  Delancy Street projects. That was, friends, say, a key to his ambition; another was a lifelong heart condition that began with rheumatic fever in his infancy (Nina, the woman Darin introduced as his 'sister' was, in fact, his mother; his 'mother,' his grandmother. Bobby did not know this, though, until he was 30. Charlie Maffia, Nina's husband, was, though not Bobby's father, highly influential in his life).

"He was raised in the slums under the Triborough Bridge," explains Steve Karmen. "His struggle was not so much to have a hit as to escape his background."

When Karmen met Darin, both were attending the Bronx High School of Science, and it was the early '50s.  "I was playing my saxophone in a school recital, and Bobby approached me; he wanted to form a band," says Karmen. "The swing era was coming to a polite end and rock 'n' roll was just coming in."  The group also included pianist Eddie Ocasio, Dick Behrke on trumpet, and guitarist Walter Raim. Everybody sang. "We were all learning our instruments, really," Raim told Jeff Bleiel. "Bobby was a talented, musical kid. He decided that he would be the drummer, then he learned to play…"

"We played up-tempo blues with a heavy backbeat," Karmen elaborates, in addition to stock arrangements that were available to anybody – though, Karmen admits, "When you can't read music, it's hard to be a musician.

"In those days,"  he continues, "we'd learn ten songs, then when we'd run through all of those, we'd repeat 'em."

The band split when Darin graduated. "Dick and Walter wanted to be serious musicians," explains Karmen. "Bobby and I wanted to be entertainers.

I learned mandolin and guitar, and Bobby picked up some piano. When Harry Belafonte started becoming successful, we started doing his act – only wearing suits and ties."

Karmen and Darin played professionally, if only just so; gigs included shows in Catskill Mountain resorts, opening for or between featured acts. They started in the summer of 1951, making $35 per week.

Somewhere down the line, Don Kirshner entered the scene.

"I was working as a bellhop in Atlantic Beach, and had just written my first song. One day I was at a candy store near my house in Washington Heights, and a girl I knew walked in with Bobby – who was working as a janitor in the neighborhood. He was impressed because I was big-time; I'd just had my first song ['In All Of My Dreams'] published. We walked over to the girl's place, where she had a piano. Bobby proceeded to play me five songs; I said 'Let's team up, and we'll be the biggest thing in the business'."

Bobby Darin Bobby Darin - Bobby Rocks
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Bobby Darin: Bobby Darin - Bobby Rocks
Art-Nr.: BCD16310

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CD album digipac with 48-page booklet, 36 tracks, playing time 82 mns. Samples the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer-songwriter's early career, features two of Bobby Darin's first recordings, and includes rare alternate takes. Features musicians including...

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Art-Nr.: CD26658

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(2011/Delta) 20 tracks (49:36) slipcase packaging Features all 14 tracks from his 1960 Atco album ‘December 25th’ - The only Christmas album ever recorded by this much-loved--and tragically short-lived--singer. Contains some of his most majestic vocal performances....

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Bobby Darin: The 25th Day Of December With Bobby Darin (plus)
Art-Nr.: CD91772

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(1991/Atlantic-Atco) 14 tracks - digitally remastered stereo version of the original 1960 mono album, plus one bonus track!

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Bobby Darin: 16 Greatest Hits (LP)
Art-Nr.: LP6187061

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(Companion) 16 tracks, recorded for Atco and Atlantic!

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Bobby Darin: Mack The Knife - The Best Of Bobby Darin Vol.2 (CD Japan Edition)
Art-Nr.: CDAMCY351

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(ATCO/WEA Japan) 21 tracks 1950s and 1960s, digitally remastered from the original mastertapes.

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Bobby Darin: This Is Bobby Darin
Art-Nr.: CD82628

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(1994/ATLANTIC) 12 tracks

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Bobby Darin: Bobby Darin (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD82626

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(1994/ATLANTIC) 12 tracks

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Bobby Darin: The Legendary Bobby Darin (CD)
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(2004/EMI) 24 tracks 1960-65 digitally mastered (3 unreleased versions) with 16 page booklet. EU pressing.

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Bobby Darin: Another Song On My Mind - The Motown Years (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDRGM0440

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(2016/Real Gone Music) 38 tracks. Bobby Darin Is One of the All-Time Great Pop Vocalists, and Perhaps the Most Versatile Male Vocalist Ever In the Early ‘70s. Bobby Darin Signed with Berry Gordy’s Renowned Motown Records, Where He Reinvented Himself Again,...

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Bobby Darin: Live From Las Vegas - Centennial Collection
Art-Nr.: CDCAP75939

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(2005/CAPITOL) 14 tracks (52:19), recorded live at the Flamingo 1963. Digipac with 6 page booklet. last copies!

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Bobby Darin: The Magic Of - Emi Presents Bobby Darin
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(2001/EMI) 20 tracks Capitol 1962-65 / last copies !

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Bobby Darin: Sings The Standards (CD)
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CD on EMI RECORDS by Bobby Darin - Sings The Standards (CD)

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Bobby Darin: From Sea To Sea - Live 1959 & 1967 (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDLG30013

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Track 1-4 from a Australian Rock & Roll show 1959. Track 5-17 from the London Palladium TV Special 1967. (1992/LIVE GOLD) 17 tracks (57:00)

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Bobby Darin: Bobby Darin (LP)
Art-Nr.: LP2011013

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(Rumble) 12 tracks. Reissue of Bobby Darin's original 1958 Atco debut album! Often compared to Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin, Bobby was one of the greatest American singers. Born in the Bronx to a poor, working class family at the height of the great depression,...

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Bobby Darin: The Best Of Bobby Darin Vol.2 (CD)
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(1991/Atlantic) 21 tracks

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Bobby Darin: You're The Reason I'm Living - Now You're Gone (7inch, 45rpm, PS)
Art-Nr.: 45CAP4897

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Original Capitol 45rpm record from 1962.

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Bobby Darin: That's All (LP, 180g Vinyl, Ltd.)
Art-Nr.: LPDR10003

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(Del Ray Records) 12 Tracks - New edition of the original Atco album from 1959 on 180g vinyl!   That's All is an album by American singer Bobby Darin released in 1959 and arranged by Richard Wess. It was on the Billboard charts for 52 weeks and peaked at...

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Bobby Darin: Things (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDJAS839

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(2017/Jasmine) 58 tracks. The Singles Collection 1956-62

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Bobby Darin: 16 Greatest Hits (CD)
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(Companion) 16 tracks

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Bobby Darin: The Magic Of ...
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(2006/EMI) 20 tracks, 1962-66. Album includes great interpretations of popular hits of the 1950s and 1960s.

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Bobby Darin: Original Album Series (5-CD Slipcase)
Art-Nr.: CDRN97546

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(2011/Rhino) 66 tracks

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Bobby Darin: Splish Splash (CD)
Art-Nr.: CD91794

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(1991/ATLANTIC) 20 tracks, includes the rare track 'Similau'!

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Bobby Darin: Beyond The Sea - Very Best Of (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDWSM183

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(2004/WARNER UK) 40 tracks 1958-1969 with 12 page booklet

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Bobby Darin: If I Were A Carpenter - Inside (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDEDSS1013

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(2007/DEMON) 27 tracks 1966/67 with 8 page booklet

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Bobby Darin: Shadow Of Your Smile - In A Broadway (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDEDSS1012

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(2007/EDSEL) 29 tracks 1966 with 12 page booklet

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Bobby Darin: Sings Doctor Doolittle & Born Walden Robert (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDEDSS1014

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(2007/DEMON) 20 tracks 1967/68

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Bobby Darin: A Touch Of Class (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDTC87705

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CD on DISKY/NL RECORDS by Bobby Darin - A Touch Of Class (CD)

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Bobby Darin: Greatest Hits Vol.2 (CD)
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(ATLANTIC) 15 tracks

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Bobby Darin: The Best Of Bobby Darin
Art-Nr.: CDCOL8650

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(2006/COLLECTABLES) 10 tracks - original Capitol recordings

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Bobby Darin: The Milk Shows - Deluxe Edition 2-CD
Art-Nr.: CDEDSK7068

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(2014/Edsel) 96 tracks - Hardcover gatefold digipac w. 12 page booklet. 91 previously unreleased radio recordings plus annotation, take from NBC Radio shows, that Bobby Darin hosted in the mid-1960s.

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Bobby Darin: Moods Swings (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDNEST910

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​(1999/Edsel) 15 tracks

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Bobby Darin: Love Swings (CD)
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(2003/CCM) Bobby's Legendary 1961 Concept Album, First Time On CD! stereo

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Bobby Darin: If I Were A Carpenter - Inside (CD)
Art-Nr.: CDDIAB864

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(1998/DEMON) 27 tracks 1966/67 - last copies

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Bobby Darin: Definitive Pop Collection (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDRN70809

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(2006/RHINO) 30 tracks digitally remastered

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Bobby Darin: 20 Greatest Hits (LP)
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Bobby Darin: Splash Splash (CD)
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(1994/Backbiter) 20 tracks

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Bobby Darin: I Got Rhythm (CD)
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​(2002/EMI Gold) 20 tracks

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Bobby Darin: For Teenagers
Art-Nr.: CDCCM2006

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(2009/CCM) 16 tracks. The original 1960 Atco Mono Album plus 4 unissued Stereo rarities.

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Bobby Darin: Dream Lover
Art-Nr.: CD3930948

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​ 24 Bit remastered - Papersleeve

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Bobby Darin: Don't Dream Of Anybody But Me (2-CD)
Art-Nr.: CDJAS573

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(2010/JASMINE) 54 tracks 1958-60

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Bobby Darin: Oh! Look At Me Know (1962) re-issue
Art-Nr.: EMS1150

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$17.11 *

Bobby Darin: 25 Greatest Hits
Art-Nr.: CDRMB75198

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(2013/Remember) 25 tracks

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