Art Blakey – drums
Lee Morgan – trumpet
Benny Golson – tenor saxophone
Bobby Timmons – piano
Jymie Merritt – bass
Sam Jones (bass) Jimmy Cobb (drums) and Bobby Timmons (piano).
Born Walden Robert Cassotto in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Bobby Darin was reared by his maternal grandparents, who he thought were his parents. Darin's birth mother, Vanina Juliette 'Nina' Cassotto (born November 30, 1917), became pregnant with him in the summer of 1935 when she was 17. Presumably because of the scandalous nature of out-of-wedlock pregnancies in that era, Nina and her mother hatched a plan to pass the baby off as her parents' child and for Nina to be passed off as his older sister. Even until her death in 1983, Nina refused to reveal the identity of her son's biological father to anyone, especially to Darin himself (though it is possible her mother may have been the only other person to know). His maternal grandfather, Saverio Antonio 'Big Sam Curly' Cassotto (born January 26, 1882), was of Italian descent and a wannabe mobster who died in prison from pneumonia a year before Darin's birth. His maternal grandmother, Vivian Fern Walden (also born in 1882), who called herself Polly, was of Colonial English and Danish ancestry and a vaudeville singer. From his birth, Darin always believed Nina to be his older sister and Polly his mother. But in 1968, when he was 32, Darin finally learned the shocking truth from Nina herself that she, not Polly, was his mother. Both the true circumstances of his birth and his relationship with Nina reportedly devastated him.
"Mack the Knife" or "The Ballad of Mack the Knife", originally "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer", is a song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their music drama Die Dreigroschenoper, or, as it is known in English, The Threepenny Opera. It premiered in Berlin in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm.