Mack the Knife: Bobby Darin Bandstand 1959

 Mack the Knife

Bobby Darin

 American Bandstand 1959


Mack the Knife – Dick Clark introduces Bobby Darin singing “Mack The Knife,” on American Bandstand in Philadelphia 1959. 


Dick Clark interviewing Bobby Darin about Mack the Knife


Remember Bandstand way back when it was produced in Philadelphia? There was really nothing like it. Kids would come right from high school. An innocent era that will never return. 


American Bandstand in Philly from Aug. ’57 through 1964


During his tenure at American Bandstand Dick Clark introduced many of the new hit songs. I watched it myself. In this piece Dick introduces Bobby Darin’s new song at the time… Mack the Knife.



Bobby Darin & Dick Clark – Bandstand 1959


I remember when the song came out I just couldn’t get enough. For some reason despite the words which are pretty rough, depicting  a gangster and a murder basically we all loved the song. No idea why except that it was really catchy and Bobby was the singer. 

“Mack the Knife” was introduced to the United States hit parade by Louis Armstrong in 1956. The song however is most closely associated with Bobby Darin, who recorded his version on December 19, 1958. 


Bobby Darin


Even though Bobby Darin was reluctant to release the song as a single, in 1959 it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and number six on the Black Singles chart. This success earned Bobby a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. 


Band Stand – Dick Clark


Dick Clark had advised Darin not to record the song because of the perception that, having come from an opera, it would not appeal to the rock and roll audience. In subsequent years, Clark recounted the story with good humor. 


Frank Sinatra, who recorded the song with Quincy Jones on his L.A. Is My Lady album, called Darin’s the “definitive” version. 

Billboard ranked this version as the No. 2 song for 1959. Bobby’s  version was No. 3 on Billboard’s All Time Top 100. 

In 2003, the Bobby Darin’s version was ranked #251 on Rolling Stones “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list. On BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, pop mogul Simon Cowell named “Mack the Knife” the best song ever written.


American Bandstand premiered locally in late March 1950 as Bandstand on Philadelphia television station WFIL-TV Channel 6. 

The Show was hosted from 1956 until its final season by producer,

Dick Clark. 

Each afternoon Dick featured a star like Bobby Darin for example singing one of their hits of the day. This is one of those

“Priceless Moments” 


American Bandstand – Dick Clark

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