Regular visitors to the GMC know that I enjoy writing about crooners, and have also explored the definition of the term and whether it is even considered a compliment. (See From Sinatra To Rod Stewart – The Crooner Conundrum.) But not every singer is a crooner, and some guys are a little hard to classify — like Bobby Darin.
Darin was just 37 when he died in 1973, so any discussion of his career starts with the fact that it was much shorter than most. But the guy who had become a star from early hits like “Splish Splash,” “Dream Lover,” and “Mack The Knife,” did begin to veer closer to croonerhood as the years passed.
Certainly he fulfilled some of the requirements — he was a smooth and vibrant singer who made the ladies swoon — but when he began recording some traditional standards in the early 1960s, results were mixed. Songs like “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby” and “Irresistible You” sold some records for the singer, and his record producers certainly hoped he would to continue to encroach on the territory of guys like Sinatra or Dino.
But even though he would manage to cover many established standards (like those below) in the years to follow, he never seemed really comfortable singing them, and he’s now mostly remembered as a pop singer. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.