Talking With Charlie Romo – Why Bobby Darin?

 

 

by Sandi Durell

 

Charlie Romo is only 23 years old but claims that his greatest influence has always been the legendary singer, songwriter, musician and actor Bobby Darin.  Although Darin passed away in 1973—23 years before Romo was even born—Romo feels a great connection to him and has been inspired by the legend.  With his own sound and style, Romo will bring the swagger of his multi-talented mentor back to the stage for one special, swingin’ night at The Green Room 42 in New York City on June 28th.

 

Q: What is it about Bobby Darin that appealed to you throughout your life?

A: Bobby Darin was an incredible, versatile, multi-talented entertainer.  He had magnetism, wit, swagger, and a natural musicianship that can’t be taught.  He was a guy who walked to his own drumbeat, came from very humble beginnings and had such a complex story.  I feel like I can relate to him in many ways.  But to accomplish what he did during his career in such a short amount of time seems impossible.  He did it all, and did it all so well, with style and class.

 

Q: You seem to have a real connection to Darin. What kind of research have you done in preparation for your upcoming show?

A:  I guess I really have done extensive research on the guy.  I’ve watched and listened to nearly everything there is on Bobby that isn’t hidden away in “the vaults.”  I’ve read multiple biographies, most notably “Roman Candle: The Life of Bobby Darin” by David Evanier, who was kind enough to give me his title for my show.  I’ve also been fortunate enough to work with and develop personal relationships with dozens of people who had a close connection to Bobby Darin, including reps from his estate, singers of his era, songwriters and arrangers who wrote for him, choreographers he’s worked with, musicians who played for him, and the list goes on.  One of the people I’m most proud to call a friend is Bobby’s original drummer Ronnie Zito. When Ronnie and Bobby were just about my age, they worked together when Darin made his debut at the Copacabana nightclub in 1960, and if you listen to Darin’s “Live At The Copa” album, you actually hear Bobby introduce Ronnie by name and ask him to stand up to take a bow.  Ronnie worked with Bobby for a number of years, is heard on many of his albums, and he was actually my first drummer, so having him play behind me nearly 60 years after playing for my hero was an incredible feeling.

 

Q: Why did you choose The Green Room 42 as the venue to debut this show?

A: I chose The Green Room 42 for a number of reasons.  I love that place.  They have a great staff and handle everything with professionalism.  The sound, lighting, fresh atmosphere…to me, it’s like a modern-day Copacabana.  Even their menu is great.  And unlike most rooms in the city, they don’t require a food or beverage minimum.  I did a show there once before and the feedback I got from the audience was great.  People really loved everything about the venue as much as I did, so it worked out perfectly.  It’s my new favorite room in the city.

 

Q: What can we expect to see and hear from you that night?

A: You’ll see me in front of a 7-piece band made up of the city’s best musicians.  You’ll be taken through a musical journey of Bobby Darin’s life and career.  Of course, you’ll hear all the hits— “Mack The Knife,”  “Beyond The Sea,” “Splish Splash,” “Dream Lover,” and so many other gems from Darin’s career.  We’re covering all the bases and showcasing the full talent and versatility of one of the greatest entertainers of all-time.  Bobby wasn’t only “the king of swing,” – he sang in many different styles and genres, and had an extensive repertoire that evolved at different points in his life, including rock & roll, jazz, pop, country, folk, musical theater, Motown, blues, and man, could he really sell a ballad.  He was also a brilliant songwriter, and we’re proud to perform many of the great songs Bobby wrote that many people may not realize he wrote.   There’s even a song in the show that Bobby recorded but was never released.  Darin was also a great dancer, and he played multiple instruments, so you might even see a little bit of that.  Can you tell that I’m excited?

 

 

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