A frail Walden Robert Cassotto entered the world on May 14, 1936 in New York City. Rheumatic fever as a child would damage his heart, with doctors concerned he wouldn't live much beyond his teens. With an early interest in music, he would master several musical instruments, including the piano, guitar, harmonica and drums. Graduating from high school with a genius-level IQ, he attended college on a scholarship for a year, but would cut short his formal education to perform in small nightclubs in the Bronx and in the Catskill’s.
At twenty years of age he recorded unsuccessfully for Decca Records and a year later in 1957 signed with Atco Records where the following year a song he wrote, “Splish Splash” leaped to the top of the charts peaking at #3 nationally. Before the year ended he would return with, “Early in the Morning” and a top ten hit, “Queen of the Hop”. 1959 would began with another song penned by Bobby Darin, “Dream Lover” that peaked at #2 and would be followed by his biggest chart topper, the multi million selling worldwide hit, “Mack The Knife”.
The decade of the 60’s began with Bobby hitting the top ten with “Beyond the Sea”, followed by “Clementine”, “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey”, “Artificial Flowers”, “Lazy River”, “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby”, “Irresistible You” and in 1962 after moving to Capitol Records, “Things”, “You’re The Reason I’m Living” and “18 Yellow Roses”. Bobby recorded his final top ten hit in 1966, “If I Were A Carpenter” for Atlantic Records.
Darin had a wide range of talent and an overwhelming need to make it big in show business, winning two Grammy Awards in 1960 for “Best New Artist” and “Record of the Year” for “Mack The Knife” that would also become a Grammy Hall of Fame winner.
As a talented actor, Bobby Darin appeared in more than a dozen motion pictures and was nominated for an Oscar for his 1963 performance in the file "Captain Newman M.D." He also received a Golden Globe award for Most Promising Male Newcomer, for his role in “Pressure Point”.
In 2004, actor Kevin Spacey directed and produced a film about the life of Bobby Darin, “Beyond The Sea”.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, he was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Following open heart surgery to repair a heart valve, Bobby Darin died at 37 years of age on December 20, 1973. He had hoped his legacy was “to be remembered as a great entertainer and a human being”.
In 2007 Bobby Darin was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.