Celebrity Deaths ›

Bobby Darin Makes a Splash

Getty Images / Premium Archive / Lawrence Schiller

Bobby Darin Makes a Splash

Singer Bobby Darin first made a splash thanks to a goofy wager.

When radio DJ Murray "the K" Kaufmann's mother suggested to him and Darin that there should be a song that starts with the line, "Splish splash, I was takin' a bath," Kaufmann bet Darin that he couldn't follow through and write the song. Twelve minutes later, Darin had created the song that would make him famous.

Bobby Darin followed "Splish Splash" with the chartbusting – and not at all silly – "Dream Lover."

And Darin's star continued to rise – his next hit, "Mack the Knife," won him a Grammy for Record of the Year.

The multi-talented Darin also enjoyed some success on the big screen (he won a Golden Globe co-starring with wife Sandra Dee in Come September). And as the ‘60s progressed, so did Bobby Darin. He actively campaigned for Bobby Kennedy in 1968, and became more political in his music as well, recording the folk classic “If I Were a Carpenter” and forming his own folk and protest song record label.

But it is for singing the standards that Bobby Darin is best remembered, and we can't resist sharing one more classic, "Beyond the Sea." Produced by Atlantic Records legends Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, it's no novelty song – but Darin could still make us laugh when he performed it.

Bobby Darin would have turned 76 today, if he hadn't died, much too young, in 1973. His death stemmed from the weak heart he had suffered since childhood – but we think his music proves that he had a lot more heart than doctors gave him credit for.