Neil Young cited him as one of his influences and called him a genius, but Bobby Darin is too often lumped together with such bland performers as Paul Anka and Frankie Avalon. Nothing could be further from the truth. Darin was one of pop music's most gifted practioners, but the remarkable ease with which he moved from rock and rolling teen idol, to finger snapping crooner, to sensitive folk rocker made him difficult to pigeonhole. Some critics took the easy way out by branding him a phony. His music contradicts that charge. Whether singing one of his own excellent compositions ("Dream Lover," "Simple Song of Freedom"), or interpreting the works of others ("Mack the Knife," Tim Hardin's "If I Were a Carpenter"), Darin was always an artist of the first rank. He was also an exceptional actor, earning a well-deserved Oscar nomination for "Captain Newman M.D." and more than holding his own against Sidney Poitier in the dynamic "Pressure Point." His short-lived NBC variety series (which aired in the year of his death) did not display all of his talents nor his versatility as well as it might have, but it was one of network television's best variety shows. The final episode, a concert special with Darin and Peggy Lee, is certainly deserving of release on video.
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