Happy 55th: Bobby Darin, BOBBY DARIN SINGS RAY CHARLES
55 years ago this month, Bobby Darin released his full-length tribute to Ray Charles, one which featured his take on 11 tracks originally recorded by Brother Ray.
Darin, a well-known interpreter of other artists’ material, was a fan of Charles’s work from the moment he heard it, or certainly as soon as he was aware of it. “I’m proud to say that I was on the Ray Charles bandwagon when it was just a baby carriage,” Darin once said. “In fact, two singers – Fats Domino and Ray Charles – opened up my ears to a whole new world, different from anything I’d heard until then. They both became major influences when I realized these are the roots.”
In addition to Darin’s own vocals, listeners were also treated to contributions from Plas Johnson, Darlene Love, and Nino Tempo. With the sessions produced by Ahmet Ertegun, the end result was a swinging good time, one which was appreciated both by record buyers and the Grammys: Darin’s take on “What’d I Say” was nominated for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording.
Although the album itself only climbed to #96 on the Billboard 200, BOBBY DARIN SINGS RAY CHARLES remains a favorite in Darin’s back catalog.