Thankyou for posting that Robert. What a beautiful letter.
We received permission from Dodd Darin to post this note about Bobby Darin. More information is available at BobbyDarin.com.
May 12th 2011
In a couple of days if my Dad were alive he would have reached his 75th birthday. Itís mind boggling to me; where friends have the years gone? Sometimes I reflect on specific vivid memories of him and it seems like yesterday and he is still with us. Yet at other times his passing seems so very long ago. As I think about him today I ponder the road of what might have been had he lived a longer life. What would he have done? With his innate intellect, ambition and courage, who knows what he would have pursued. His respect and admiration for RFK had him thinking about politics and running for office. He might have done that but my feeling is that he would have soon become quite frustrated with that because regardless of oneís determination getting things accomplished in our system of politics is very difficult indeed. I have no doubt he would have been concerned today , as he was then, about social justice and the basic idea that everybody should have a fair shot at the American dream. You know, things like some kind of sensible basic health care coverage for all, a chance to receive a good education, and no discrimination based on race, sexual orientation or gender. I know for a fact that seeing the first African American President elected to office would have brought a smile to his face and touched his soul indeed!
I think its safe to say that if his health had permitted he would have continued to perform long into his later years. To anyone who watched him work a nightclub floor there can be no doubt that this was his passion and the thing he enjoyed doing the most. His intimate and amazing interaction with a live audience was something very special indeed. Dare I say that this kind of unique talent is very rare and made him one of the greatest entertainers of his, or any generation. To those who were not there to see him live , simply watch him on video and you can feel the energy and excitement come bursting out of your television! Whenever I would watch Frank, Sammy, Dean or Tony Bennett work in their later years I would always think of my Dad and how much music and performing he still had in him.
I think he also would have continued writing music and producing younger musical talent. He was not a performer who wanted other performers to fail. He was confident of his own talent and not threatened by his peers. This is a very admirable quality and one that is quite rare in the dog eat dog world of show business.
To anyone reading this or thinking of my Dad on his birthday I thank you for remembering him. Over the past few years a wonderful group of friends and admirers have done great things to honor his legacy and do good charitable work in his name. You know who you are and you have my gratitude. You have actually helped me to remember just how incredible he was as both a performer and human being. So on May 14th tip a glass and think of my Dad and what he meant or means to you. By doing this he really is still with us isnít he?
I have a couple of specific exciting things that Iím working on to keep his memory alive so stay tuned. On his birthday Steve is going to join my family and I for dinner. He would have liked that!
At this point in the story they would say to be continued. I hope soÖ.
All the best! Dodd and the Darin family
Thankyou for posting that Robert. What a beautiful letter.
Cycles For Change
Bobby Darin was such a talent. As a long time fan, one can't help but feel cheated by his loss at such an early age. Darin was "Gone Too Soon."
One day, just after noon time, in the summer of 1962, or '63, I was walking on the Steel Pier, in Atlantic City. It was cloudy and drizzling, and I was on my way back to the Marine Ballroom. For those not familiar with the old pier, this famous, beautiful edifice, (the Ballroom) was located at the ocean end of the pier. It was located just in front of the circus bleachers and the High Diving Horse platform and tank, at the very edge of the pier. The Marine Ballroom had played host to all of the Big Bands (and Frank Sinatra, too), back in the day. It was located approximately 2000 feet off of the Boardwalk, just about a "half mile at sea." The Ballroom had a giant electrical sign, proclaiming "Steel Pier," with a lighted "crawl" under that, that billboarded the piers' headliners and daily attractions. It lit up the night sky over the ocean, like nothing before or since. It was destroyed by fire, in January, 1969. The new Steel Pier today, doesn't even come close. The site of the pier today, even though it's popular (strictly an amusement ride mecca), depresses me.
On my way back I ran into a guy in a light trench coat, wearing a light colored hat, with a feather in the band, and smoking a pipe. He was wearing dark sunglasses. As I walked up beside him, we were the only two headed back there, because there was a break between shows. Ed Hurst's televised Record Hop "Summertime on the Pier," wasn't due to begin until 1:00 P.M. The man with the hat and glasses said to me, "Do you think Ed Hurst is here yet? I said, "I'm sure he is." He dropped his glasses, further down on his nose, and I realized who I was talking to.
I said, "Mr. Darin, what a pleasure it is to see you here. Welcome to Atlantic City." I knew he wasn't a pier attraction that week, (although, he had appeared there before), so I asked, "Are you here to appear on Ed's show this afternoon, with Pat Leslie?" "He said, no, not really. I just wanted to come in and say a quick hello to Eddie." (He added, "By the way, I'm in a bit of a hurry, so I'm trying to avoid any crowds or commotion.") I took him to the backstage area where he'd find Ed Hurst, and introduced him to "Horace," an Atlantic City police officer, who served as security, on the pier.
When I had greeted him, I shook his hand. He never asked my name, and I was such a young "lamebrain," and so awe struck, that I never even told him my name. As I left him, to go on my way, Darin said to me, "You know, Ed and Joe Grady and I go back to their old radio days." When I mentioned the 950 Club, (their 40's & 50's era show) on WPEN (A.M. in Philly), his face lit up. I told him that Grady had quit the show at the pier, early on, and that, recently, he was now teaching, English, diction and elocution to Roman Catholic seminarians, at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook. He seemed a little disappointed, but not surprised, that Joe Grady wouldn't be there. Joseph Grady was one of the finest individuals you'd ever meet in you life, but when the tastes in music changed, from the 1940's & '50's, to the early '60's, Joe would hear a new song, and wrinkle up his nose unlike anyone I've ever known before or since. It sort of became his trademark. Ed Hurst would kibitz with his longtime partner, and refer to him as "Joe Grumpy" (all in a good natured kidding, that Grady loved).
I can say to you, that, not only was Bobby Darin a wonderful talent, but he was terrific to speak with. He was kind, courteous, and very well spoken. When the T.V. lights went on that afternoon, Bobby was nowhere to be seen. He had disappeared into the afternoon rain. Horace later told me that Darin had seen Ed, but was not seeking any publicity, or free "face time" on T.V. In my humble opinion, my impression of him was that of a fine gentleman, a superb talent. Those of us who admired him can only guess at what might have been, had he lived. Happy Birthday, Bobby - you are missed.
Darin's hit records were great, "Splish Splash, Mack the Knife, Artificial Flowers, Clementine, You're the Reason I'm Livin," but oddly enough, the song that I loved to hear him sing was called "Amy." It was from a 1967 (post Civil War) Western entitled "Gunfight in Abilene," starring Darin and the late Leslie Nielsen as the "heavy," older brother. This song may seem an odd choice to some, but if you can find a copy somewhere, or view the film, you'll see what I mean.
"Living Well Is The Best Revenge"
What a wonderful letter. We lost him way too soon.
You can't have everything... where would you put it?
The day of Bobby's birth is the day of my dad's death so Dodd and I call the 14th of May our "forever day." I am glad we have the chance to celebrate his dad. It makes this day easier somehow.
God bless Frank and Bobby, best wishes to their families on this anniversary date.
When You're Here, It's Family
Bobby and Frank, God Bless You!
Member since 1997
- Frank Sinatra: You will be my music.
Dodd, birthday wishes for your Dad...Have a Happy in Heaven !
Never to be forgotten Bobby Darin...Thank you Dodd !
I was fortunate enough to dance to his music....Blowing kisses in the wind to your parents.
Forever Frank ~ Forever Betty ~ Forever Dina ~ Forever Bobbysoxer
This place amazes me, it can be so happy and sad all at the same time.
The one that got away
I have to tell the truth. I've been in love with Bobby Darin since I was thirteen years old. Nothing would make me forget him. What a privilege it must have been to really know him and experience his real love, not just a crush. He shaped my idea of what a man should be.
What a wonderful thing that Frank and Bobby shared the date for two significant events. I've always been a bit intimidated by the wonder that is Frank. But I think I will be able to walk up to your father, and say, "I've always loved you" when I see them in heaven. To Frank, I'll say, "I know your daughter and I love her!!"
She loves the theatre but never comes late That's why the Lady is a Tramp.
They don't "share the same date for moving on". Bobby was born on this date and Sinatra passed on this date. Conversely Sinatra was born in December and Darin died in December.
Perry Como was born on May 18, 1912 and died on May 12, 2001.
And Sammy passed May 16th. More tenuously perhaps, Bing was born May 3rd.
Im a big fan of Bobby Darin to, immense versatility, I believe he did about 29 original albums and singles compilations, I've got most of them and all sound different. He had a lot of interesting ideas and like Frank always had something to say about the world as he saw it.
Thank you for sharing these lovely thoughts from Dodd. I am remembering his extraordinary father also today, very fondly. Bobby Darin was an amazingly talented man.
Nancy, I'm glad you and Dodd have had the chance to talk about your connection with May 14th and hope it gives you a little comfort.
Thanks for posting the letter, Robert.
Bobby is one of my top favorites! Wishing he was here to celebrate his Birthday.
"Could start for the corner... turn up in Spain... why try to change me now..."
A superior talent, one of the greatest. I'm so gratified for all the great recordings. Big up to him
Bobby Darin was a wonderful all round entertainer. He left us way too early. I do prefer his crooning period over his early pop career songs.
Matt Monro, Margaret Whiting and Frank Sinatra did it their way.......three GREAT singers.
In all due respect to Dodd, surviving son of both Bobby and Sandra, who is the "Steve" he gives reference to?
I only mention it because it seems like a dangling participle from some personal exchange with an aforemention.
......pick yourself up...... ......dust yourself off...... ......start all over again...... (my e-mail)
Steve is Steve Blauner. I reckon, Bobby's great friend and manager. I haven't seen Steve since Sandy's funeral so I'm glad to know he is all right.
Blauner claims that Sinatra wanted to sign Darin to Reprise and offered Bobby the part that eventually went to Tony Bill in "Come Blow Your Horn". Instead Blauner urged Bobby to sign with the "more established" Capitol.