James Darren: Goodbye Cruel World (1961)

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James Darren: Goodbye Cruel World (1961)

One of the most popular shows on American television in the late Fifites/early Sixties was the Donna Reed Show, a middle-class family of mum (attractive and smart Donna Reed) the doctor dad (handsome and jut-jawed Carl Betz) and the teenage kids Mary (attractive and girly Shelley Fabares who went on to appear in three Elvis movies) and Jeff (geeky-then-handsome young Paul Petersen who, like Fabares had a minor career in music).

Not much really happened that couldn't be resolved within the black'n'white running time, but there were always interesting guests, sometimes playing themselves or a version thereof.

One guest who popped up a couple of times was pop singer James Darren (the most handsome man on the planet perhaps, little wonder Mary was drawn to him).

Darren had a career as a singer and Goodbye Cruel World was his big hit, but he also went on to a more than decent television and film career, notably starring in The Guns of Navarone and Venus in Furs (and a few Gidget flicks) as well as the popular television serials The Time Tunnel and TJ Hooker.

But in his last appearance on The Donna Reed Show in '61 he played pop singer Kip Dennis and sang this song. It is as catchy as a flu virus, so little wonder Hello Sailor's Dave McArtney remembered it as he notes here

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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