This Week on Vintage Favourites: December 17th

Dec 11, 2023

By Gene Stevens

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Bobby Darin was an amazing talent – gone too soon – 50 years ago this week.  He was a rock’n’roll pioneer with his 1958 smash ‘Splish Splash’, but he quickly branched out to embrace the more mature swing-style of a ‘Sinatra’ with his mega-hit ‘Mack the Knife’ – thereby winning the first-ever Best New Artist Grammy award. Before long he was a nightclub star, then a movie star, while starting his own production and publication company, and discovering talent.
Music genres were never a barrier – Darin crossed styles and scored hits with easy listening, pop, rock’n’roll, country and folk music – and he wrote many of his songs. Today he’d be labeled a ‘multi-hyphenate’ – mastering multiple genres and functions. And did I say he was also an Academy-award nominated actor? Yet this incredibly gifted performer/entertainer knew his time on earth was limited due to his poor heart health from childhood rheumatic fever.  Sure enough, he died at 37.
My tribute to Bobby Darin will sample music from across his career – and what a career it was !  
And the final edition of ‘Our Sunday Best – A Century of #1 Hits‘ will take us from the early 1930s into the 80s, with chart-topping songs from this week by The Mills Brothers and Bing Crosby, the Byrds and Marvin Gaye and ‘The Story Behind the Song‘ ‘Tonight’s the Night’ by Rod Stewart.
I’m calling it ‘the final edition’ because the next two shows, wrapping up the year, will be our annual Christmas edition next Sunday, featuring ‘The Evolution of the Christmas Hit‘ over nine decades from Guy Lombardo through to Mariah Carey.  Then on New Year’s Eve, it’s my traditional ‘In Memoriam‘ saluting those we lost during the past year.  When Vintage Favourites launches its 2024 season January 7th, the first hour (2-3pm.) will be the premiere of ‘The Sunday Sock Hop’.
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