Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sammy Davis Jr. & Richard Nixon

Sammy Davis Jr. had always voted Democratic until he felt snubbed by JFK. His recent interracial marriage (he married May Britt on November 13, 1960) was quite controversial, so he was taken off the bill for an inauguration party thrown for Kennedy. Sammy did not forget this at all. He went on to become a big supporter of Republican Richard Nixon, even hugging President Nixon on television. Sammy even spent the night in the Queen's Bedroom of the White House. The picture I've posted here is from a meeting between Sammy and Nixon on March 4, 1973. The relationship between these two caused a huge uproar in the entertainment industry and the black community. It didn't really matter to Sammy though.

davisNixon

10 comments:

Planet Mondo said...

Amazing - almost as cool as those Elvis/Nixon shots

Keith said...

Hey Dave. Glad you liked it. I've got a coffee mug with Elvis and Nixon on it.

Nancy Sinatra Fan said...

That is a cool picture, Keith. I've never seen that one. I have seen pictures of Elvis and Nixon together though.

Keith said...

Thanks Phoebe. Glad you liked it. I've got a mug with Elvis and Nixon on it. I got it at the Nixon Presidential Library when I went there in the late 90's.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Keith, never knew that the Sam and tricky Dicky were tight...

Keith said...

Hey pallie DMP. I had seen it several places over the years. When I came across this pic, I had to share it with my pallies. Chers!

Rev. Fred Phantom said...

I don't know why, but this reminded me of the All in the Family episode w/Sammy. It's as funny as it ever was...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_UBgkFHm8o

Sammy was his own man--I respect that.

Keith said...

Hey Rev. Thanks for the comments. I loved that All in the Family episode! It's truly a classic. That's something I admired about Sammy. He did things on his own terms.

Tarno said...

I heard Matt Birkbeck, author of the new book Deconstructing Sammy, say in a radio interview that Sammy supported Nixon under orders from the mafia. Seems Nixon was supported by the mob and Teamsters. Interesting stuff.

Here's the review of Birkbeck's book from the New York Times.

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.

Keith said...

Hello Tarno. Thanks for the comments. I appreciated them. I enjoyed reading that review. I do want to get a copy of that book. I think it would be very interesting. Sammy lived quite a fascinating life full of ups and downs. Cheers!