In Rich Podolsky's book Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear
, we learn the story of how Darin made an early impression on Cashbox
magazine writer Ira Howard: "We were at a poker game in a small office where Donnie [Don Kirshner] was making $45 a week writing lyrics for publisher Al Lewis. At that game was an upright piano against the wall. Every now and then Bobby would sit down and just make up new song after new song on the spot. I remember thinking to myself, What a fantastic talent!"
Darin almost didn't make songs like this; he was originally signed to Decca Records, but they had him doing an older style of music that just didn't suit his talent. When Decca let him go, it actually turned out to be the best thing that had ever happened to him, because Herb Abramson at Atlantic Records picked him up right away. Soon after came "Splish Splash
," when Darin was at last allowed to be his true self, and the rest is history.