Billboard #1 Hits- #20- “Mack The Knife”- Bobby Darin- October 5, 1959 #1 for 9 weeks. One of the biggest hits of the era- it was #1 for 9 from October 5- to November 16 when The Fleetwoods “Mr. Blue” took #1 for a week- then Mack was back in town at #1 until December 14th. Written by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht for the 1928 music drama The Threepenny Opera. Genre: Pop. Time: 3:04. B-side:”Was There A Call For Me” Grade: A+
“Mack The Knife” is a standard that has been covered by numerous artists over the years but the most famous version is this one by Bobby Darin. The song has had a number of chart appearances during the rock era- Dick Hyman Trio #8 in 1956, Richard Hayman and Jan August #11 in 1956, that crazy pioneer of punk rock- Lawrence Welk #17 in 1956, the great Louis Armstrong #20 in 1956, Billy Vaughn #37 in 1956, Les Paul #59 in 1956- Darin’s #1 in 1959, Ella Fitzgerald #27 in 1960. Simon Cowell has named it the best song ever written. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Darin’s version at # 251 on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Darin won a Grammy for Best Record for the song in 1959. Dick Clark had advised Darin not to record it-because coming from an opera it might not appeal to a rock and roll audience. What a Dick. Frank Sinatra would record it late in his recording career and call Darin’s version ‘the definitive version’ of the song. No arguing here.