Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sammy Davis, Jr. - Entertainer.

You need only one word to describe the essence of Sammy Davis, Jr; that word is Entertainer; with a capital E and a period at the end. Fluent in the arts of singing, dancing, impressionism, and everything in between, Mr. Davis is one of those who came out of the last days of vaudeville; touring with his Uncle in the Will Maston Trio at the age of 3. The man was literally born on stage. And then dominated it, in spite of racial and physical difficulties which would make it hard even in today's enlightened era.

After serving in the army during the 2nd World War Mr. Davis took to the stage and from there went on to Hollywood and Las Vegas. It was during that period when he made the acquaintance of Frank Sinatra, beginning a friendship which would last until the two men died. Sinatra was the one who brought Mr. Davis into the fabled Las Vegas "Rat Pack", making him part of a legend even while they were still performing.

His solo career soared after the release of his first #1 single "Hey There" in the early 1950's. With his signature voice and suave style of performance it was not too long before he was headlining on that new medium, television.

This film is from one of the literally hundreds of TV appearances he made during the late 1950's and 1960's. I don't know which show it's from; if you recognize it please let me know. What really makes this a great clip to watch is that it's longer than the average 3 minutes, and Mr. Davis gets to show off his unique range of talents.

To really hear Mr. Davis at his best; using his fantastic vocal power and range; then listen to this song which is usually associated with Robert Goulet; the heckler is Frank Sinatra. The recording was made in Chicago in October 1963. And, for a really good book on Mr. Davis' life, I'd recommend his autobiography, "Yes, I Can."

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