Sammy Davis Jr.
(re-run from Aug. ’02)
LP 1965 11 TRKS stereo
What can I say about Mr. Entertainment that hasn’t already been said a million times before? Sammy was the consummate performer, in the ‘old school’ sense of the term. He sang, danced, did impersonations, cavorted, acted – everything. And he was amazingly good at some of it.
In the personal decision department, Sammy may have been a few sandwiches short of a picnic at times. But some of his records!! Some of his TV / films!! What a man! If you’ve never seen his performance in The Name of The Game’s “Billy Baker” episode (1969? 1970?), you have a treat in store!
A few years back, I got his Rhino Records 4CD box set (pictured) – a truly amazing piece. I was surprised that it was as listenable as it was – why shouldn’t it have been? If you’re skimming the ‘Sammy cream’, there’s some damn good stuff on record. This LP, “If I Ruled The World” (not pictured) is no exception. Sammy at the height of his powers? Some would argue, but in my humble opinion, at this time (1965) he was still riding the crest of the wave that started with “The Shelter of Your Arms”. “I’ve Gotta Be Me” was a few years away. With his autobiography, he had already said, “Yes I Can”. A true ‘man of music, man of words’.
I remember going to see Sammy live, sometime in the mid-80’s in
That’s another thing that bugs me to this day – I was out of the country, living in
Not that long ago (2001?), Warren called me and said he’d spotted ‘something interesting’ – a junk shop on Abbot Kenney in Venice had Sammy’s record collection for sale (!). We went to take a look – as I sifted past Michel Polnareff and Mamas & Papas records, we heard some talking in the front of the shop – it was Sammy’s widow Altovise and someone who looked / acted like a lawyer. It kind of freaked us out, so we left in a hurry before we could go through anything else really closely.