He wanted so badly to be taken seriously. I like to think that it was after the recording of this program that he began thinking of farther off fields to explore. (Not a linear expression, internet pedants.)
He acquits himself in it perfectly well, of course. It was just all made of awkward, even for a Jack Benny episode, and even with the understanding that Darin really was a fan. It's fun to watch, though! I didn't mean to post something with the idea that it would be just terrible to see.
Recently I'd been wishing there was a recording of him doing "I've Got the World on a String," but when I found one, it disappointed me. It's much too slow, like his version of "Fly Me to the Moon," only less touching. Michael Bublé emulated him beautifully for "Call Me Irresponsible," but made the best "I've Got the World on a String," really, by doing his own thing. Only, when I hear that one, I want to hear Darin, so. I keep hoping one day another "lost" recording will appear or be resurrected from the fire. Along with "Danke Schöen," and a few others.
He did slow torchy songs right, though, no doubt about it. So for Bobby Darin's birthday, touching some of us in the special place, here's "The Other Half of Me."
I think of him as someone who put grace into his efforts, and was always reaching a little bit farther than he could grasp, which, I think, is what we should all do. Maybe in the end he just gave up, but if so, it wasn't until after he'd poured the best of himself into his life and his work and created a quiet but solid legacy.