Today I’m starting a music history project for the year: Giving a listen to each winner of the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, reading a bit of bio info and sharing whichever random points catch my interest, and also building a Spotify playlist of the songs I like best from that artist. I’ll share each post to my Facebook page and invite you to join the conversation there.
This week’s winner: Bobby Darin, Best New Artist of 1959
He began as a songwriter before becoming a heartthrob performer.
- His first big hit was “Splish Splash” (1958) with silly, safe lyrics typical of the era.
- “Dream Lover” and “Mack the Knife” came out in 1959, the year he was named Best New Artist. He’s one of many who recorded “Mack the Knife,” which originated as a song in the play The Threepenny Opera. I remember hearing Ol’ Mackie a lot at my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. I could have spent hours just listening to all the covers of this song.
- He died young — at just 37, of heart failure. He had poor health his entire life, which reportedly drove him to pack a full career into the relatively few years he had.
Check out my Spotify playlist “Deb Stanley’s ‘Best New Artists’ Study” to see which Bobby Darin songs I added.