Hello: James Darren was born James Ercolani on June 8, 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. James a pop singer/actor who co-starred as Gidgets boyfriend “Moondoggie” in, Gidget, Gidget Goes Hawaiian and Gidget Goes To Rome. He was in the TV series T.J. Hooker from 1983-86.
James Darren’s first hit record was GIDGET, from the movie Gidget starring James and Sandra Dee. It was released in April of 1959 on the Colpix Record label. Gidget charted at #41 and stayed on the Hot 100 for 12 weeks. In August of 59′ ANGEL FACE made its way on to the Hot 100 and reached #47. It was his third hit that really took off. Released in October of 1961 GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD with its carnival sound burned its way up the Hot 100 to #3 and stayed on the chart for 17 weeks. Goodbye Cruel World was a favorite on Top 40 radio stations across the country and received heavy air-play.
In February of 1962 James followed up Goodbye Cruel World with another Top 10 hit. HER ROYAL MAJESTY reached #6 and stayed on the Hot 100 for 11 weeks. James second record of 62′ just missed the Top 10, CONSCIENCE charted at a high of #11 and enjoyed 10 weeks on the chart. James next record was released at the end of June and reached the Top 40. MARY’S LITTLE LAMB charted at #39.
PIN A MEDAL ON JOEY released in February of 1963 didn’t fair as well as past hits, only reaching #54. James would not have another Hot 100 hit until January of 1967. Now on the Warner Records label he charted ALL from the movie “Run For Your Wife” starring Frankie Randall. All reached #35 with an 8 week chart run.
His final hit would come in March of 1977 with a song from the movie “Rocky” starring Sylvester Stallone. YOU TAKE MY BREATH AWAY on the Private Stock record label reached #52. In his recording career he charted 10 Hot 100 hits. On any oldies radio station to this day you’ll hear James Darren’s, Goodbye Cruel World, a song that has stood the test of time, almost 50 years after its release.
Till the next time—Joe