Monday, May 14, 2018

Music Monday ~ Bobby Darin - some things I didn't know.

Today would have been Bobby Darin's birthday. He was born on
14 May, 1936

Bobby Darin was reared by his maternal grandmother, who he believed was his mother. Darin's birth mother, Vanina Juliette "Nina" Cassotto (born November 30, 1917), became pregnant with him in the summer of 1935 when she was 17. Presumably because of the scandalous nature of out-of-wedlock pregnancies in that era, Nina and her mother hatched a plan to pass her baby off as Nina's younger brother. Years later, when Nina finally told Darin the truth about his upbringing, she refused to reveal the identity of his biological father, and kept the secret to her death in 1983. Darin's maternal grandfather, Saverio Antonio "Big Sam Curly" Cassotto (born January 26, 1882), was of Italian descent and a would-be mobster who died in prison from pneumonia a year before Darin's birth. His maternal grandmother, Vivian Fern Walden (also born in 1882), who called herself Polly, was of English ancestry and a vaudeville singer. From his birth, Darin always believed Nina to be his older sister and Polly his mother. But in 1968, when he was 32, Nina told Darin the truth, reportedly devastating him.

By the time he was a teenager, Darin could play several instruments, including piano, drums, and guitar. He later added harmonica and xylophone.

Darin in his later years was politically active. He travelled with Robert F. Kennedy and worked on the politician's 1968 presidential campaign. He 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. This event, combined with learning about his true parentage, had a deep effect on Darin, who spent most of the next year living in seclusion in a trailer near Big Sur.

Darin was a frail child suffered several bouts of rheumatic fever which seriously weakened his heart. He died after a heart operation in December 1973, at age 37.

Information from Wikipedia

A sad life indeed, yet his music didn't hint at any of his troubles. In this first video he displays his talents as not only a vocalist, but an entertainer, with a sense of humour.

And 9 months before his death:


Wisewebwoman said...

Wasn't he married to Sandra Dee who had his son? I remember her being interviewed about him. I believe he would have been a great jazz singer as he aged.


Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Yes he was married ti S. Dee. I'm sure you are right WWW - he was more than half-way there already!