43 Facts About Bobby Darin


Bobby Darin performed jazz, pop, rock and roll, folk, swing, and country music.


Bobby Darin started his career as a songwriter for Connie Francis.


Bobby Darin recorded his first million-selling single, "Splish Splash", in 1958.


Bobby Darin was present at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles at the time of Robert Kennedy's assassination in June 1968.


Those events deeply affected Darin and sent him into a long period of seclusion.


Bobby Darin died at the age of 37 after a heart operation in Los Angeles in 1973.


Bobby Darin's maternal grandmother, Vivian Fern Walden, who called herself "Polly" and was born in 1891, was of English, Danish, and Norwegian ancestry.


Bobby Darin believed his mother Nina was instead his elder sister and that Polly, who had raised him from birth, was his mother.


Bobby Darin refused to reveal the identity of his biological father, and took that secret to her grave when she died in 1983.


Bobby Darin moved to the Bronx early in his life and graduated from the prestigious Bronx High School of Science.


Bobby Darin then enrolled at Hunter College and soon gravitated to the drama department.


Bobby Darin's career took off with a songwriting partnership, formed in 1955 with Don Kirshner, whom he met at a candy store in Washington Heights.


At one point, Bobby Darin wanted to elope immediately; Francis has said that not marrying Bobby Darin was the biggest mistake of her life.


Bobby Darin left Decca to sign with Atlantic Records' Atco subsidiary, where he wrote and arranged music for himself and others.


Bobby Darin made another recording in 1958 for Brunswick Records with a band called The Ding Dongs.


In 1959, Bobby Darin recorded the self-penned "Dream Lover", a ballad that became a multi-million seller.


Bobby Darin was voted the Grammy Award for Best New Artist that year, and "Mack the Knife" has since been honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.


The late-1950s success included Bobby Darin setting the all-time attendance record at the Copacabana nightclub in Manhattan and headlining at the major casinos in Las Vegas.


Bobby Darin's 1960 recording of "Artificial Flowers", a song by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock from the Broadway musical Tenderloin about the death of a child laborer, featured a jazzy, big band arrangement by Richard Behrke, that was in sharp contrast to its tragic lyrics.


Bobby Darin signed Wayne Newton and gave him the song "Danke Schoen", which became Newton's breakout hit.


Bobby Darin was a mentor to Roger McGuinn, who worked for him at TM Music and played the 12-string guitar in Bobby Darin's nightclub band before forming the Byrds.


Additionally, Bobby Darin produced Rosey Grier's 1964 LP Soul City, and Made in the Shade for Jimmy Boyd.


Bobby Darin wrote music for several films in which he appeared.


Dee and Bobby Darin made a few films together with moderate success.


Bobby Darin became more politically active as the 1960s progressed, and his musical output became more "folksy".


Bobby Darin was with Kennedy the day he traveled to Los Angeles on June 4,1968, for the California primary, and was at the Ambassador Hotel later that night when Kennedy was assassinated.


That event, combined with learning about his true parentage, had a deep effect on Bobby Darin, who spent most of the next year living in seclusion in a trailer near Big Sur.


Bobby Darin wrote "Simple Song of Freedom" in 1969, which, in an interesting turn of events, was first recorded by Tim Hardin and the song became Hardin's best-selling record.


Bobby Darin himself sang the song "live" on several television variety shows.


Bobby Darin subsequently made television guest appearances and remained a top draw.


Bobby Darin's television show included an occasional segment in which he would explain a chess move.


Bobby Darin arranged with the United States Chess Federation to sponsor a grandmaster tournament, which pitted him against the young Eastern Division champion Stephen Ryder, with the largest prize fund in history, but the event was canceled after his death.


Four months later, in October 1973, the couple divorced amid strain caused by Bobby Darin's worsening health problems.


Bobby Darin was frail as an infant and, beginning at age eight, had recurring bouts of rheumatic fever that left him with a seriously weakened heart.


In 1973, after failing to take antibiotics to protect his heart before a dental visit, Bobby Darin developed sepsis, an overwhelming systemic infection, which further weakened his body and affected one of his heart valves.


Shortly after the surgery ended in the early morning hours of December 20,1973, Bobby Darin died in the recovery room without regaining consciousness.


Bobby Darin's remains were transferred to the UCLA Medical Center shortly after his death.


In 1990, Bobby Darin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, with singer and close friend Paul Anka announcing the honor.


In 1999, Bobby Darin was voted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


On May 14,2007, Bobby Darin was awarded a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars to honor his contribution to making Las Vegas the "Entertainment Capital of the World" and named him one of the twentieth century's greatest entertainers.


Bobby Darin abandoned the project, the rights to which were subsequently bought by actor Kevin Spacey, along with Darin's son, Dodd.


In September 2016, Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical had its world premiere at Sydney Lyric Theatre, Australia.


Bobby Darin had an unusual upbringing, being raised by a "mother" who was actually his grandmother and alongside a "sister" who was actually his mother, a fact he did not discover until he was 31 years old.