We’re proud to have kicked off the Bobby Darin 80th birthday celebration earlier this month with Second Disc Records/Real Gone Music’s release of Another Song on My Mind: The Motown Years. The Bobby festivities will continue next month from Edsel Records with the re-reissue of a pair of currently out-of-print titles previously released as a two-fer. The Demon Music Group imprint has new standalone editions of Darin’s 1966 albums The Shadow of Your Smile and In a Broadway Bag arriving on June 10 to mark both albums’ 50th anniversary.
The March 1966 release of Sings The Shadow of Your Smile marked Darin’s return to Atlantic Records. Though he had enjoyed his first successes (including “Splish Splash,” “Beyond the Sea” and “Mack the Knife”) at the label’s Atco imprint, he departed for the greener pastures of Capitol Records in 1962. At Capitol, Bobby broadened his already-versatile range to incorporate folk and country songs, and scored hits such as “You’re the Reason I’m Living” and “18 Yellow Roses.” The Shadow of Your Smile was titled after the Oscar- and Grammy-winning Johnny Mandel/Paul Francis Webster tune from the 1965 film The Sandpiper. Joining “The Shadow” were its four fellow nominees for Best Original Song: Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini’s “The Sweetheart Tree” (The Great Race), Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “What’s New Pussycat” (from the film of the same name), Michel Legrand, Jacques Demy and Norman Gimbel’s “I Will Wait for You” (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and Hal’s brother Mack David and Jerry Livingston’s “The Ballad of Cat Ballou” (Cat Ballou).
Those five songs alone showcase Darin’s singular stylistic variety, but that wasn’t all. The movie themes, all arranged by Shorty Rogers, were joined by six more tracks under the musical direction of Richard Wess, the arranger of “Mack the Knife.” Bobby contributed his own “Rainin’,” tapped composer Neal Hefti for “Cute” (originally a Count Basie instrumental) and looked back to the American songbook for four more standards including “Lover Come Back to Me” and “After You’ve Gone.” As on its previous editions of the title, Edsel has added four bonus tracks, all non-LP singles from 1966: “We Didn’t Ask to Be Brought Here,” “Funny What Love Can Do,” “The Breaking Point” and “Silver Dollar.”
For his sophomore Atlantic LP, Bobby turned his attentions east – from Hollywood to Broadway. In a Broadway Bag, released in June ’66, returned the singer to the theatrical milieu of “Mack” – but with a decidedly contemporary bent. Two ebullient tracks, “Mame” and “It’s Today,” were culled from Jerry Herman’s score of the musical which had just opened on May 24 on Broadway. (Surely the celebratory sentiment of “It’s Today” appealed to Bobby, who lived every day to the fullest!) Both soulful ballads and brassily upbeat showstoppers filled out the LP.
More wonderful selections arranged by Shorty Rogers and Perry Botkin, Jr. were drawn from Charles Strouse and Lee Adams’ Golden Boy (the moving “Night Song,” introduced by Sammy Davis Jr.), Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen’s Skyscraper (“Everybody’s Got the Right to Be Wrong” and “I’ll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her,” introduced by Peter Marshall onstage but famously recorded by the songwriters’ pally, Frank Sinatra), Frank Loesser’s How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (“I Believe in You”) and Jule Styne and Bob Merrill’s Funny Girl (“Don’t Rain on My Parade”). Darin’s bravura performance of the latter, arranged by Rogers, is one of his all-time greatest, and gained memorable new life in the 1999 film American Beauty. In a Broadway Bag is rightly hailed as one of Darin’s most triumphant LPs. Three bonuses have been appended: the “Mame” B-side “Walking in the Shadow of Love,” and both sides of the non-LP 45 “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” b/w “Merci, Cherie.”
Both of Edsel’s upcoming 50th anniversary releases celebrating the remarkable life and legacy of Bobby Darin are housed in digipaks, and feature liner notes (as on previous editions) by Fred Dellar. They’re due on June 10, and can be pre-ordered at the links below!
- The Shadow of Your Smile
- The Sweetheart Tree
- I Will Wait for You
- The Ballad of Cat Ballou
- What’s New Pussycat?
- Lover Come Back to Me
- After You’ve Gone
- It’s Only a Paper Moon
- Liza (All the Clouds’ll Roll Away)
- We Didn’t Ask to Be Brought Here (Atlantic 2305, 1966)
- Funny What Love Can Do (Atlantic 2305, 1966)
- The Breaking Point (Atlantic 2317, 1966)
- Silver Dollar (Atlantic 2317, 1966)
- I Believe in You
- It’s Today
- Everybody Has the Right to Be Wrong
- Feeling Good
- Don’t Rain on My Parade
- The Other Half of Me
- Once Upon a Time
- Try to Remember
- I’ll Only Miss Her When I Think of Her
- Night Song
- Walking in the Shadows of Love (Atlantic 2329, 1966)
- Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Atlantic 2341, 1966)
- Merci, Cherie (Atlantic 2341, 1966)