By the time Bobby Darin released You're The Reason I'm Living, in 1963, he was 26 years old and already had 13 LPs to his name. Now signed with Capitol and inspired by Ray Charles' hugely influential crossover LP, 1962's Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music, he entered the studio to make his own Nashville-inspired album. However, it wasn't a country album in the purest sense. Rather, it was a hybrid of country, pop, jazz, and rhythm 'n' blues styles, filtered through the prism of Darin's unique musical personality. Helmed by producer Nick Venet, who at the time had just signed The Beach Boys to Capitol, the album featured arrangements by noted West Coast jazz men Shorty Rogers and Gerald Wilson, together with New Yorker Jimmy Haskell.
Eleven of the twelve songs had country associations, and some, such as Hank Williams' "(I Hear That) Lonesome Whistle," Don Gibson's "Oh, Lonesome Me," Buck Owens' "Under Your Spell Again" and Hank Locklin's "Please Help Me, I'm Falling," were already familiar songs to the US public because they had been substantial hit singles. But Darin brought his own sensibility to bear on the material, and even introduced a tinge of jazz swing, as exemplified by the jaunty opener, "Sally Was A Good Old Girl" and the brassy "Who Can I Count On," which features soul singer Mary Clayton.
Darin's genuine affinity for country music is revealed on one of his own compositions, the album's title song, a morose storytelling ballad complete with bluesy harmonica wails, which succeeds in capturing the authentic spirit of Nashville. He closes You're The Reason I'm Living by putting his own spin on "Release Me," which had been a big hit for jazz-blues singer Esher Phillips in 1962, and, three years later, was famously covered by the UK's MOR crooner Engelbert Humperdinck. Reissued on vinyl in celebration of Capitol Records' 75th anniversary.