Mum and Music
I certainly got my love of music from my parents — especially Mum. There was always country music on the kitchen radio or nights when Mum and Dad would get into playing their favourite records & they were amazing dancers — man, they could jive!
I’ve always been a singer with a soprano voice strong enough for solos. I’ve certainly tried my hand at various musical instruments — piano to Conservatory Level 3, mini-tuba in grade 8 band, then bagpipes for a couple years — but singing is my best skill. Great practice was testing my skill against professionals like Julie Andrews and other great singers Mum & Dad enjoyed.
Mum’s ultimate favourite singer was Bobby Darin. He was a ‘crooner’ from the days of Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra but boy, Bobby could belt out the jazz with style. His voice was smooth & strong and I envied his effortlessness at holding the notes. My fave has got to be ‘Mack The Knife’ — ooh, when he powers up that final, ‘When Maaaackie’s back in Toooooooooown’ then it’s barely a breath to command “Look out, ole Mackie’s back in town’, he pushes me to my limit. Simply Amazing.
Sorry, Mum would definitely agree, absolutely nobody can do ‘Mack the Knife’ like Bobby Darin — it’s the swagger, the cheeky grin, the simple love of singing.
Mum also liked Bobby Darin because of his romantic, tragic life story which he handled with aplomb publicly. Like many singers of the time, he also acted in movies & had the ‘Hollywood’ marriage with Sandra Dee which ended in divorce. At 37 years old, the toll would be too much for the heart ailment he had suffered from since he was a child — Mum & I had always been amazed at the strength of his singing throughout his career.
While on YouTube, I found this one of Bobby Darin singing the English version of my fave ‘La Mer’ highlighting his great sense of humour. From what I can tell, this clip is from around 1972 — not long before his death Dec. 20, 1973.
Hmm, you might need to have been born in the 1950s [like me] or earlier to get the Cosmopolitan magazine/Joe Namath joke.
I can’t hear Bobby Darin without thinking of Mum and whenever I want to think of Mum, I play Bobby Darin — ‘Mack the Knife’ always gets more than a few runs.
It’s been a year since you left, Mum — a hard year without you. You were the backbone to our family for over 60 years & we are lost without you. I truly hope you & Dad are dancing to Bobby’s music and you are encircled by your parents’ love. I miss you.