Happy OSF! How about Sammy Davis Jr…?

Hey guys.

I’ve been out on vacation for awhile, but it’s good to be back.

Gotta admit this one was a bit challenging for the kidd. Had to sit and scratch my chin for a minute. Close my eyes and rifle through the files. And then it came to me…

You say the category is actors turned singers, and singers turned actors…?

Man, I got the bomb for y’all…

That’s right! Sammy Davis Jr.! For my money very possibly the most talented entertainer of the 20th century. And so far the 21st as well. If you can think of anyone else who could sing, dance, act, perform, and do standup anywhere near as good as this man, then you let me know. Because Sammy could do it all, and he could do it all better than most. A huge fan of soap operas, Sammy appeared as a regular character on at least one major soap opera. I think it was “Days of Our Lives” but I’d have to check. He was in a great movie my father took me to where he starred with fellow Rat Pack member Peter Lawford in “Salt and Pepper”.  One of the funniest movies you’ll ever see. Hell, the man was even an expert with a pistol and a lasso.

A l’il more Sammy for ya. Surely you remember “Bojangles” right?

And then of course there’s Sammy in “Rufus Jones for President” which he did when he was 6 years old…

And finally here’s Sammy doing some great standup then gliding effortlessly into “One More For My Baby”…

SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blogs @ The “D” Spot Redeux and BlackLiberalBoomer.

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~ by Keith A. Owens on December 5, 2008.

8 Responses to “Happy OSF! How about Sammy Davis Jr…?”

  1. I guess great minds think alike. I posted Samuel George Davis, Jr. as well. The man was the best, bar none. Others that come to mind are Gregory Hines, Debbie Allen, Lena Horne.

    I enjoyed your tribute to Sammy Davis, Jr.

  2. Welcome back D! Sammy is perhaps the greatest all around entertainer in history. Very unappreciated. But you know he had to be great to be a part of the Rat Pack during those days.

  3. Happy WW! Sammy Davis Jr. is a remarkable choice. You brought out some information and videos that I had never seen before…

    Thank you for visiting my blog earlier today. I invite your blog readers to see some photo of a truly FAT CAT!

    peace, Villager

  4. Welcome back! Great choice with Sammy…and a great collection of vids!

  5. Great choice I am not surprised at all, lol.

    Sammy was special in that he was master of all as opposed to the jack of all trades that most artists are now.

  6. Great choice! Sammy was certainly a talent!!

  7. Here’s a review from the New York Times of the new book on Sammy (which is awesome).

    DECONSTRUCTING SAMMY
    Music, Money, Madness, and the Mob.
    By Matt Birkbeck.
    Amistad/HarperCollins, $25.95.

    “Deconstructing Sammy” was written by an investigative journalist, and it shows: Birkbeck has killer leads, gripping kickers and sensational descriptions. This cinematic book reads more like a detective story than a traditional “life of.” It revolves around Sonny Murray, a federal prosecutor and the son of the founders of the Hillside Inn, a famous black-owned hotel in the Poconos. Murray takes it upon himself to get Sammy Davis Jr.’s alcoholic widow, Altovise, sober, and to solve the mystery of the star’s enormous I.R.S. debt: $7 ­million-plus. How, Murray wonders, could a man with boundless talent, who worked almost every day of his life and grossed more than $50 million, die owing so much money? In the course of his rigorous and emotional investigation, Murray learns that Davis became an entertainer because he believed that “by entertaining, he could make all the hurt feelings go away.” He had plenty of those, having been subjected to horrible prejudice and racial violence in the Army. He turned to Judaism after losing his eye in a car accident: “He believed Jews and blacks suffered similarly, and he found comfort in the Torah and its teachings.” With less success, he later turned to cocaine, Satanism and orgies. In the end, Murray cracks the case and saves the widow — sort of. He discovers Davis was so eager to please that he trusted some truly awful people, and no one who had his best interests at heart. As he lay dying in 1990, Birkbeck says, his supposed friends were looting his home. Davis led a rich life — performing as part of the Rat Pack, marching with Martin Luther King, winning a Kennedy Center Honor — but because of the mishandling of his affairs, his legacy has suffered. The book has a stark moral: for a performer without business acumen or good management, all the talent in the world can’t guarantee immortality.

    Ada Calhoun is the editor in chief of Babble.com, a blogger for AOL News and a frequent contributor to the Book Review.

  8. Carol,

    Thanks so much for that tip! I read Sammy’s autobiography “Yes I can!” years ago, and it remains one of my favorites. This bok sounds like it would rank right up there with it, so I’ll definitely have to pick it up.

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