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As Long As I'm Singing: The Music of Bobby Darin
Skokie Theater, Skokie, Ill.
October 27, 2007

Have you ever spent an evening you never wanted to end? Such was the case on Saturday, October 27 at the Skokie Theatre in Skokie, Ill. Dennis Tufano, former lead singer of the 1960s rock group The Buckinghams, gave a warm, glowing tribute to one of his idols, the multitalented singer, songwriter, actor Bobby Darin.

Growing up on the "Nort'west" side of Chicago, Tufano spoke of hearing Darin's music in high school and being inspired by it. He covered many of Darin's hits, including the title song to his show, "As Long As I'm Singing," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," "Dream Lover," "Splish Splash," "Queen of the Hop," "My Funny Valentine," "If I Were a Carpenter," "You're the Reason I'm Living," "18 Yellow Roses," "Simple Song of Freedom," "Two of a Kind," (a cute duet with local comedian Tim Walkoe taking Johnny Mercer's vocals) "Up A Lazy River," "Beyond the Sea," "Mack the Knife," "That's All," and "A Curtain Falls."

Tufano was backed by Michael Acosta's nine-piece band (a pianist, electric guitarist, drummer and six piece horn section), who were a little cramped on the small, intimate stage, but tight musically and very talented. Three backup singers also accompanied the program, adding emphasis without overpowering Tufano or the band.

Tufano was mesmerizing, engaging, and faithful to Darin's recorded material. Often closing his eyes to concentrate, Tufano's vocals were flawless and paid respectful tribute to a talented man who left this world all too soon. Like Darin, Tufano realizes the importance of his fan base, and came out to the lobby after each performance to sign autographs and have photos taken with the fans.

The final encore of the night was "a gift back to you," for The Buckingham fans in the audience. It was evident that many hometown friends were present, and "Hey Baby (They're Playing Our Song)," "Don't You Care," and "Kind of a Drag" nearly brought down the house, so enthusiastic was the response.

Local DJ Scott MacKay, who spoke at the beginning of the show, said they were taping the performance for a possible CD and DVD. One could only hope!

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