Oscar Stewart Blandamer's music career started as a sax player with such bands as Jimmy James & The Vagabonds, Johnny Wakelin & the Kinshasa Band, and the Q Tips. He went onto forge a successful songwriting career penning such tunes as "I'll Mend Your Broken Heart" for Phil Everly and Cliff Richard and "Tomb of Memories" for Paul Young. This tune was Blandameyer's most successful song.
Despite writing "Darlin" in 1970, it wasn't until 1977 that the song was recorded by the British country band Poacher, who had won the British TV talent show New Faces. It was expected that it would be a big hit for them, but despite a great deal of airplay it flopped in the UK though it did make #86 on the US Country charts.
A year later, producer Dave Mackay gave the song to Frankie Miller, who recorded a a rock and blues version giving him his first and and only UK Top 10 hit. It also topped the singles chart in Norway and fell just short of the US Hot 100.
Miller only recorded this because of pressure from his record label to do more commercial material. He'd been given an ultimatum by his label, record a hit single or be dropped. "They were always trying to shape Frankie in some way," his partner Annette told Mojo magazine, "So when they got him to cover Darlin' it saddened him. He didn't really rate it as a song and it wasn't at all representative."
According to Ray Minhinnett, the guitarist on Miller's 1977 album Full House, when the singer finally met Blandamer in a club after recording the song, he swore at the songwriter, took a bottle of ketchup and covered him in it.
There have been many other recorded versions of the song, including two successful ones by by David Rogers and Tom Jones
, both of which reached the Top 20 of the Billboard country chart. Bonnie Raitt also sang it in the John Travolta film Urban Cowboy