Show: December 7, 2008

Something's Gotta Give

Sammy Davis Jr.Step into the Divaville Lounge on Sunday, December 7 as we celebrate Sarah's favorite male vocalist: Sammy Davis Jr! Sammy strived to be "America's Greatest Entertainer," and we'll hear him singing with some of the great arrangers of his time, doing comedy with the Rat Pack, and even dancing. Tune in for two great hours of Sammy!

Recommended books, movies and a video clip behind the cut:

Divaville Lounge Recommended Reading List:

  • In Black and White by Wil Haygood is a detailed examination, packed with insight about Sammy's life and the context in which he lived. If you want to learn more about Sammy and have time for just one book, make it this one.
  • Sammy was a talented photographer and Photo by Sammy Davis Jr. is a gorgeous picture book of his work.
  • Yes I Can! Sammy's "autobiography," was written by Burt and Jane Boyar based on extensive interviews with Sammy. The Boyars were too close to their subject to write with any genuine depth, but Yes I Can! contains many unintentional insights that make it worth reading.
  • (In Black and White and Photo by Sammy Davis Jr. are available at the Durham Public Library, as well as an audio book of Yes I Can!)

Recommended Movie List:

  • Ocean's Eleven: The definitive Rat Pack movie isn't that good, objectively speaking, but it's well worth watching to see Sammy with Frank and Dean. Not to mention the theme song, "Ee-Oh-Eleven," sung by Sam.
  • Salt and Pepper. Sammy stars with Peter Lawford in this extremely silly spy movie set in the London mod scene.
  • Anna Lucasta. Eartha Kitt costars with Sammy in this excellent dramatic film.
  • Porgy and Bess. Sammy won rave reviews for his portrayal of Sportin' Life in this Gershwin opera.
  • Sweet Charity. Only a small part for Sammy, but a good one: he plays a hep cat underground spiritual leader and does a musical number called "The Rhythm of Life."
  • The Benny Goodman Story. A rare opportunity to see Sammy's father, Sam Sr., who plays Fletcher Henderson. The movie also includes appearances by Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, Kid Ory, Harry James, Teddy Wilson, Martha Tilton, Ziggy Elman, Ben Pollack, Stan Getz ... everyone except Benny Goodman, who was played by Steve Allen.

Even as a small child, Sammy had enormous talent. Check out this video of Sammy, age 8, dancing in Rufus Jones for President:

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