Bronx-born Bobby Darin was one of those many star personalities of the mid-'50s and '60s, whose on-stage and recording skills belie the underlying talent of songwriting. In fact, Darin was an early example of what came to be known as the singer/songwriter.
A lifelong prisoner of a rheumatic heart condition, Darin was born in May 1936 in New York City. He attended the Bronx High School of Science and studied for a year at Hunter College before succumbing to a need to express himself via music.
Soon he was a regular in the corridors of the fabled Brill Building at 1619 Broadway, where many music stylists, with voice and pen alike, found their way into popular music success. He obtained assignments there as a demo singer and songwriter, in the process making the acquaintance of and working with another star in the making, Connie Francis.
Darin's initial recording experience came on the Decca label, but he found his first real success with Atco, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, wherein his first single records brought him hits with "Splish Splash" and "Dream Lover," both penned by Darin himself.
Next up for Darin was his first LP, That's All, which contained a series of standards, plus an offbeat opus (for Darin), the Marc Blitzstein/Kurt Weill song, "Mack the Knife," from Threepenny Opera." The tune which garnered recordings from such diverse performers as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, ultimately became Darins signature tune. The recording won the "Record of the Year" Grammy in 1959, while Darin the singer, also took down a Grammy for "Best New Artist."