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Dennis Tufano's I Remember Darin CD
Reviewed by Joe Pesole

Recorded live in 2007 at the Skokie Theatre in suburban Chicago, we find the original lead singer of The Buckinghams, Dennis Tufano, doing his incredible and loving homage to Bobby Darin. 

A bouncy, horn-driven Beyond the Sea opens this historic journey of song and quickly puts us in a “Bobby Darin frame of mind.”  Tufano can be heard ad-libbing on stage and telling the packed house, “Welcome to the music of Bobby Darin.”

All the important Bobby Darin “bobby sock” and “ballad” songs are safe in the hands of Michael Acosta and his orchestra.  Where is Dream Lover?  It is on Track #2 and meshes well with the million seller, Splish Splash, in the 5:24 Dream Medley

The horn section gets a workout in A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.  This might be the best of the 12 songs.  Tufano’s delivery is every bit as good as the fifty year old Bobby Darin standard that’s also been covered by everyone from Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney, and Rod Stewart.

Tufano gets his chops on, and gets to play his underrated harmonica on the bluesy Bobby Darin written Funny What Love Can Do.

Much is the same with the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart masterpiece, My Funny Valentine.  The song opens with Tufano and the piano, and grows to a full Michael Acosta orchestra backing of a near perfect and multi-octave tribute to Darin by Tufano.  The song ends and we want “more, more.”  Fellow Italians in the crowd plead “di piu di piu."

Every time I listen to this live version of Mack the Knife I like it better.  You can picture the smile on Tufano’s face as he dances and strolls around the Skokie stage.  Five will get you a dime, you’ll be smiling and bouncing around your living room or car while you enjoy this #1 hit and 1959 Song of the Year.  Our pal Tufano puts it best: “Isn’t this music of Bobby Darin something?” 

Tim Hardin’s classic ballad If I Were a Carpenter has become a staple of any DT show.  This is the first time I’ve heard an electric organ added to this acoustic guitar-driven interpretation of the Darin hit.

Tufano also does a couple of often recorded standards that I hadn't heard Darin do before. Hoagy Carmichael and Sidney Arodin's, Up a Lazy River is here, as is a jazzy and upbeat version of the popular Nat King Cole song, That's All.

As the show closes, Tufano remembers his Chicago roots and rewards his fans with three songs from The Buckinghams catalog. It’s great to hear those horns again as he takes us back to 1967.  Did you know that in 1967 The Buckinghams sold more records than any other American band besides the Monkees? 

Having three female background singers on Don’t You Care? is fun.  Comedian Tim Walkoe is right on in his duet with Tufano on Mercy Mercy Mercy, as is the alto sax solo by Bobby Frankich.  The show ends with the #1 hit Kind of a Drag and its organ solo by Wayne Peet. 

So, open a bottle of wine. Dim the lights and put your CD player on repeat as you and your love get cozy and enjoy the music of Bobby Darin delivered by the talented Dennis Tufano.  “Such a romantic affair.…."

This CD has a limited pressing and is close to selling out.  Buy it and get it signed at a show.  You’ll be glad you did.


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