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Sammy Davis, Jr.

Samuel George Davis Jr. (December 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990) was an American singer, musician, dancer, actor, vaudevillian, comedian and activist known for his impressions of actors, musicians and other celebrities. At age three, Davis Jr. began his career in vaudeville with his father Sammy Davis Sr. and the Will Mastin Trio, which toured nationally. After military service, Davis Jr. returned to the trio and became an overnight sensation following a nightclub performance at Ciro's (in West Hollywood) after the 1951 Academy Awards. With the trio, he became a recording artist. In 1954, at the age of 29, he lost his left eye in a car accident. Several years later, he converted to Judaism, finding commonalities between the oppression experienced by African-American and Jewish communities.

After a starring role on Broadway in Mr Wonderful (1956), he returned to the stage in 1964's Golden Boy. Davis Jr.'s film career began as a child in 1933. In 1960, he appeared in the Rat Pack film Ocean's 11. In 1966, he had his own TV variety show, titled The Sammy Davis Jr. Show. While Davis' career slowed in the late 1960s, his biggest hit, "The Candy Man", reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1972, and he became a star in Las Vegas, earning him the nickname "Mister Show Business".

Davis had a complex relationship with the black community and drew criticism after publicly supporting President Richard Nixon in 1972. One day on a golf course with Jack Benny, he was asked what his handicap was. "Handicap?" he asked. "Talk about handicap. I'm a one-eyed Negro who's Jewish." This was to become a signature comment, recounted in his autobiography and in many articles.

After reuniting with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in 1987, Davis toured with them and Liza Minnelli internationally, before his death in 1990. He died in debt to the Internal Revenue Service, and his estate was the subject of legal battles. Davis Jr. was awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for his television performances. He was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1987, and in 2001, he was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Birth and Death Data: Born December 8th, 1925 (New York City), Died May 16th, 1990 (Beverly Hills)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1954 - 1969

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist

Recordings (Results 51-75 of 251 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 101113 11/30/1956 Begin the beguine Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101114 11/30/1956 All about love Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101115 11/30/1956 Perdido Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101116 11/30/1956 Temptation Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101132 12/7/1956 Don't get around much anymore Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101133 12/7/1956 Oo shoo be doo be Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101134 12/7/1956 By myself Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101135 12/7/1956 Signed, sealed and delivered Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101206 12/17/1956 Don't cha go 'way mad Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101207 12/17/1956 Long before I knew you Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101208 12/17/1956 Will you still be mine? Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101209 12/17/1956 Comes love Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101700 2/18/1957 Tea for two Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101701 2/18/1957 Cheek to cheek Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101702 2/18/1957 The things we did last Summer Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101703 2/18/1957 They didn't believe me Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101704 2/18/1957 Baby it's cold outside Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101705 2/18/1957 There's a small hotel Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101706 2/9/1957 People will say we're in love Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101707 2/19/1957 Happy to make your acquaintance Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101708 2/19/1957 Two sleepy people Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101709 2/19/1957 Who cares Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101710 2/19/1957 You're the top Sammy Davis, Jr. ; Carmen McRae vocalist  
Decca 101742 2/20/1957 They can't take that away from me Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca 101743 2/20/1957 Fascinating rhythm Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
(Results 51-75 of 251 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Davis, Sammy, Jr.," accessed January 24, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/311145.

Davis, Sammy, Jr.. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 24, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/311145.

"Davis, Sammy, Jr.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 24 January 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/311145

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