Monday, September 22, 2008

Lawyer Sonny Murray Fights To Restore Sammy Davis Jr.'s Legacy

Deconstructing Sammy: Music, Money, Madness, and the Mob is a new book written by journalist Matt Birkbeck. It chronicles the struggle of lawyer Sonny Murray to help settle the massive IRS debt owed by the Sammy Davis Jr. estate and restore Sammy's legacy as well.

Click on Mercury News to read an article about this exciting new book. I hope you will check out this article. I definitely want to get my hands on this book.

Sammy_Davis_Jr_1989

Sammy is one of my favorite entertainers of all time. He was so much more than just a song and dance man. He could do it all. The man could light up a room just with his presence. There have been very few like him. Unfortunately he's not given the credit and recognition he truly deserves.

His life was full of ups and downs. It seemed there were often more trials and tribulations than happy times. Sammy was often criticized by whites and blacks. He faced racism and discrimination wherever he would go. He was attacked for his interracial romances. He was called an "Uncle Tom." He was criticized for supporting Richard Nixon. He had anti-Semitic slurs thrown at him for converting to Judaism. He was a substance abuser. He had a rocky relationship with his family. He spent much more money than he ever earned. He died in his mid-60's with throat cancer, leaving no fortune behind and a debt of $7 million in back taxes to the IRS.

I feel so sorry for how his life turned out. Sammy deserved better. I know he's at that big casino in the sky now with Dino and Frankie. I'm sure they are having a blast together again. I wish him all the best. I raise a toast to the memory and legacy of Sammy Davis Jr., one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Cheers!


20 comments:

Glenn Bishop "Bish The Magish" said...

My Dad and Mom knew Sammy back when they were performing in night clubs.

Thanks for a great post.

Glenn Bishop

The King Of Cool said...

Hey Glenn. Your welcome. That's so cool that your parents knew him. He's actually my second favorite Rat Packer after Dino.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Keith, yeah it is sad how the sam's life turned out, but that in no way decreases his amazin' talent...

The King Of Cool said...

Hey pallie DMP. Thanks. That is so true. Sammy's life had its share of problems. That doesn't tarnish the fact that he was very talented.

Nancy Sinatra Fan said...

I do feel my share of sadness for how the life of Sammy turned out. He really had his share of hardships. It's a shame that his legacy and estate have been in such shambles.

The King Of Cool said...

I know what you mean. I wish his life could have had more ups than downs. He's still an incredible talent no matter how things went in his life or after.

Steve Langton said...

Sounds like compulsive reading. It's a crying shame Sammy's life had more than its fair share of turbulence. he obviously did things that many would disagree with but was an amazing talent. Would be nice if The Hillside Inn was made into a lasting legacy.

The King Of Cool said...

Hey Steve. I agree with you. The man had incredible talent. His music doesn't often leave my CD player. He also had a lot of inner demons. There were quite a few controversies that affected his life. He took heat from all sides. I agree with you on Hillside. That would be great.

Jeremy Richey said...

You know how much I love Sammy and I appreciated this post. Very moving and I can't wait to read the new book about this man, one of our great talents.

The King Of Cool said...

Hey Jeremy. Yeah, I do. It's always great to talk with other Sammy fans. The man's an incredible talent. I really look forward to reading this book too.

sushay said...

Wow, that sounds like a great book. I knew he had difficulties but I don't know all the details.

Keith said...

Hey Sue. He definitely had a lot of troubles. I don't even know half of what he went through. I bet it would be a good read.

David said...

After learning the story of Sammy's life I must confess that I am ASHAMED of what my fellow Italian-Americans in the mob did to this man and how he was treated (or mistreated), and basically "owned" by them---SEE:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94640586

The genuine, profound goodness of Sammy always came through onstage--even on TV I saw him often in my younger years . . . it violated my sense of justice and helps me better understanding the contempt many have toward the Mafia and that has negatively affected ALL us Italian-Americans. God Bless you Sammy-I am truly sorry and would not have treated you in such a manner. I cringe from sorrow, guilt and shame. You are the GREATEST entertainer of out time--without a doubt !

Keith said...

Hello David. Thanks for your comments. It was nice hearing from you. I will definitely check out that link. It is a shame how Sammy was treated by so many people. I think he got the short end of the stick quite often. It really pains me. Sammy always seemed like a really nice man. He definitely came across as the kind of man I would want as a friend. I'm a huge fan of him myself. The man could do it all. I'm so sorry that his life had so many trials and tribulations. I appreciate your comments. I have Italian blood in me. It pains me to think of what some of my own people may have done to others. Take care.

FilmFather said...

Thanks for this, Keith! I've requested it from my local library. As much as I don't like to hear about Sammy's financial woes, I'm still curious to read about what's transpired since his death.

P.S. The Mercury News website has taken down the article, though strangely they left the title tag on the page.

Keith said...

Hey FilmFather. Thanks for the comments. I hope you get a chance to read this book. I've been wanting to get it myself. I hate to read about all the tribulations Sammy went through, but it would be interesting to see what's been going on sine he passed away. That's a shame that they took down that article.

FilmFather said...

Just finished Deconstructing Sammy. What an informative, engaging, depressing, and occasionally touching book. It almost reads like a mystery, as to who did what and when to Sammmy, and who knows "where the bodies are buried" regarding Sammy's financial endeavors and the locations of his personal items. And regarding Altovise...you'll ran a full gamut of emotions regarding her -- sadness, pity, anger, and disbelief to name a few.

Author Matt Birkbeck leaves no stone unturned in covering the events surrounding Sammy's relatives, associates, belongings, and finances since his death...you won't like most of what's reported, but you'll come away a more informed person. I highly recommend reading this book.

Keith said...

Hey FilmFather. Thanks for the comments. Wow! What a great review! I definitely want to read this book. I really want to read it after your review of it. I thought it would be a worthwhile and fascinating book to read. I'm interested to hear exactly what went on. Thanks for letting me know how good this book is. I appreciate it. Cheers!

JFK Jean said...

Good words. He truly deserves more and his day will come.....

Keith said...

Thanks. Glad you liked it. It it a shame how things turned out for him. He deserves so much more.