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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 176-200 of 251 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca L 8567 7/18/1955 Body and soul Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8572 7/25/1955 Happy ending Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8573 7/25/1955 The thrill is gone Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8574 7/25/1955 It's all right with me Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8575 7/25/1955 Come rain or come shine Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8596 7/29/1955 Wait till you see her Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8597 7/28/1955 Get out of town Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8638 8/10/1955 Dangerous Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8639 8/10/1955 Just one of those things Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8640 8/10/1955 She always knows Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8641 8/10/1955 The blues to end the blues Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8642 8/16/1955 Ac-cent-tchu-ate the positive Gary Crosby ; Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8643 8/16/1955 Beat me Daddy, eight to the bar Gary Crosby ; Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8786 11/10/1955 The man with the golden arm Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 8787 11/10/1955 Frankie and Johnny Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 10331 7/1/1957 Better luck next time Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 10332 7/1/1957 can't help lovin' dat gal Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 10333 7/1/1957 I cover the waterfront Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 10334 7/1/1957 Traps and taps Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 10335 7/2/1957 Where's that rainbow? Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 10336 7/2/1957 But not for me Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 10337 7/2/1957 Guess I'll hang my tears out to dry Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 10351 7/9/1957 Someone to watch over me Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 10352 7/9/1957 I can't get started Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
Decca L 10353 7/9/1957 Just in time Sammy Davis, Jr. vocalist  
(Results 176-200 of 251 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Davis, Sammy, Jr.," accessed January 27, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/311145.

Davis, Sammy, Jr.. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 27, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/311145.

"Davis, Sammy, Jr.." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 27 January 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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