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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Beyond The Sea - Very Best Of (2-CD) 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
$11.01 $16.54
The Best Of Bobby Darin Vol.2 (CD) Bobby Darin: The Best Of Bobby Darin Vol.2 (CD) Art-Nr.: CD91795

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(1991/Atlantic) 21 tracks
$18.75
If I Were A Carpenter - Inside Out...plus (CD) Bobby Darin: If I Were A Carpenter - Inside Out...plus (CD) Art-Nr.: CDDIAB864

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(1998/DEMON) 27 tracks 1966/67 - last copies
$55.26
Roberto Cassotto - Rare, Rockin'& Unreleased (CD) Bobby Darin: Roberto Cassotto - Rare, Rockin'& Unreleased (CD) Art-Nr.: CDROS1001

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​(1997/Ring Of Star) 30 tracks
$22.07
You're The Reason I'm Living - 18 Yellow (CD) Bobby Darin: You're The Reason I'm Living - 18 Yellow (CD) Art-Nr.: CDCOL2915

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(2006/COLLECTABLES) 24 tracks - two original Capitol albums
$55.26
Splash Splash (CD) Bobby Darin: Splash Splash (CD) Art-Nr.: CDBIT61040

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(1994/Backbiter) 20 tracks
$8.80 $16.54
Moods Swings (CD) Bobby Darin: Moods Swings (CD) Art-Nr.: CDNEST910

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​(1999/Edsel) 15 tracks
$8.80 $16.54
Bobby Darin Sings Doctor Dolittle (CD) Bobby Darin: Bobby Darin Sings Doctor Dolittle (CD) Art-Nr.: CDDIAB865

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(1998/Crimson) 10 tracks - The original 1967 album on CD!
$17.65
Winners (CD) Bobby Darin: Winners (CD) Art-Nr.: CDCCM403

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(2003/CCM) 12 tracks 1960 Stereo
$27.60
Darin At The Copa (CD) Bobby Darin: Darin At The Copa (CD) Art-Nr.: CD82629

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(1994/Atlantic Records) 14 Songs
$27.60
I Got Rhythm (CD) Bobby Darin: I Got Rhythm (CD) Art-Nr.: CD5414992

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​(2002/EMI Gold) 20 tracks
$33.13
Love Swings (CD) Bobby Darin: Love Swings (CD) Art-Nr.: CDCCM399

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(2003/CCM) Bobby's Legendary 1961 Concept Album, First Time On CD! stereo
$17.65
Splish Splash (CD) Bobby Darin: Splish Splash (CD) Art-Nr.: CD91794

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(1991/ATLANTIC) 20 tracks, includes the rare track 'Similau'!
$16.54
From Sea To Sea - Live 1959 & 1967 (CD) 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)
$17.65
Capitol Collector Series (CD) Bobby Darin: Capitol Collector Series (CD) Art-Nr.: CDP91625

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(1989/CAPITOL) 20 tracks / special price - last copies !
$11.01
Christmas with... plus Bobby Darin: Christmas with... plus 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...
$8.80 $16.54
The Milk Shows - Deluxe Edition 2-CD 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.
$19.86
25 Greatest Hits Bobby Darin: 25 Greatest Hits Art-Nr.: CDRMB75198

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(2013/Remember) 25 tracks
$11.01
Dream Lover Bobby Darin: Dream Lover Art-Nr.: CD3930948

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​ 24 Bit remastered - Papersleeve
$11.01 $14.33
Oh! Look At Me Know (1962) re-issue Bobby Darin: Oh! Look At Me Know (1962) re-issue Art-Nr.: EMS1150

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$16.04
Splish Splash - Dream Lover 7inch, 45rpm Bobby Darin: Splish Splash - Dream Lover 7inch, 45rpm Art-Nr.: MB45506

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$4.87
Don't Dream Of Anybody But Me (2-CD) Bobby Darin: Don't Dream Of Anybody But Me (2-CD) Art-Nr.: CDJAS573

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(2010/JASMINE) 54 tracks 1958-60
$11.01 $18.75
For Teenagers Only...plus Bobby Darin: For Teenagers Only...plus Art-Nr.: CDCCM2006

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(2009/CCM) 16 tracks. The original 1960 Atco Mono Album plus 4 unissued Stereo rarities.
$11.01 $16.54
Bobby Darin - Bobby Rocks 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....
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