Friday December 20 will be the 40th anniversary of the legendary Bobby Darin's death. He was only 37 years old. He was a big part of my childhood. He sang rock and roll classics like Splish Spash and Queen of the Hop and then migrated to wonderful standards like Mack the Knife and Beyond the Sea. And in the late 60's he sang The Simple Song of Freedom which is one of the most powerful songs I have ever heard. You can see and hear all these songs on You Tube. The Queen of the Hop has the classic rock and roll beat and the saxophone solo in the middle of the song is the classic rock and roll sax.
Bobby is a wonderful example of Perseverance. Doctors told his mother he wouldn't live past 15 because of the damage rheumatoid fever had done to his heart. He went on to write 163 songs, recorded over 400 songs, played seven instruments, won 2 Grammy awards, got nominated for an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor, he did all kinds of great impressions and was a wonderful dancer. Wow, he did it all. He was probably the greatest entertainer in show business history along with Sammy Davis Jr. And his live stage shows in Las Vegas and around the country in the 60's and early 70's were legendary for his performances and his interaction with the audiences. He was taken from us much too early.
Go into You Tube and watch all his songs. They are all there. Watch Splish Splash and Queen of the Hop and see what rock and roll was really like. Turn up the volume, tap your feet. And watch Beyond the Sea with Kevin Spacey starring as Bobby. He gives an incredible performance. I thought he should have received an Oscar. He looks like Bobby, sings like Bobby, acts like Bobby and dances like Bobby. And near the end of the movie, he sings the Simple Song of Freedom with the choir coming onto to the stage with him. What a dramatic moment. I get chills when I watch this.
So this Friday I will be holding up my favorite beverage, and toasting Bobby, like I did JFK on his 50th, and remember what was and think about what could have been.