Friday, May 15, 2009
Tomorrow marks 19 years since the death of Sammy Davis Jr. He died at his home in Los Angeles from throat cancer on May 16, 1990. Sammy was such a fantastic showman. He started his career at the age of 3 in vaudeville. Sammy was an all around great entertainer. He could do it all, everything from singing to dancing to acting to telling jokes to doing impressions of other celebrities. Sammy was wonderful in nightclubs, on Broadway, in the movies, on television, etc. He scored countless hit songs throughout his career. He was a Rat Packer, one of the coolest cats to ever walk the planet.
There were many highs, but there were also many lows. Sammy had quite a few health problems, including losing one of his eyes in a 1954 car crash. He abused alcohol and drugs. He spent and gambled way more money than he ever earned. He chased skirts while he was married. He faced racism due to the color of his skin and his marriage to a white woman. Sammy also faced resentment from many blacks, who said that he acted "white." His conversion to Judaism didn't go over very lightly with the masses. Sammy definitely faced his shares of trials and tribulations.
I want to raise a toast to Sammy Davis Jr. He's one of my favorite entertainers of all time. Sammy has more talent in his little finger than most of us have in our entire bodies. I don't think he ever got quite the amount of credit and attention that he deserved. I honor Sammy on the anniversary of his death. I'm sure he's up there in that big casino in the sky with all his pallies. Cheers!