Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sammy Davis Junior

I sit here wondering ~ I just wrote a post, dated it ahead to the 20th, so that the continuing story would follow in order ~ since that post got too long for a blog ~ but then this one dated today will not make sense. Um...

In Killing Willis, Todd Bridges mentions how thrilled he was when Sammy Davis Jr. wanted to meet him, then invited him to his house for a BBQ, showing him his collection of reels. Davis had everything Willis appeared in on tape. Okay, my memory is shot ~ that was pre-VHS days, so whatever. Book sitting next to me on couch, I could go find the passage and be more accurate, but as far as I know, no one is reading this so...

Willis (or his co-author) mentions how exciting that was to meet one of his idols ~ a man who paved the way for actors like him. It has been a long, long time since I read, Yes, I Can, Sammy's biography, and I would have to reread that to be accurate too. The gist: I know what Sammy did to pave the way for other black entertainers ~ refusing to perform in a club in Florida because he had to enter the establishment through the kitchen, not allowed to stay in hotels where he performed and so on. As mentioned, my details may be off, but it is accurate to say that Sammy (and others) endured a lot, which made it a tad bit easier for younger generations. Tad bit.

During my mini-marathon watching various artists perform Amazing Grace, I saw Whitney Houston ~ Live in D.C. ~ I decided to watch it, thinking it was when she did the chart topping rendition of the National Anthem. It was not; it was an entire concert ~ two hours long ~ do not think I have ever seen a You Tube video that length. I watched (or listened) to it all as I was finishing the Killing Willis book.

During her show, Whitney tells how honored she was when Sammy Davis, Jr. asked her to perform at his 60th birthday party. She said the same thing Willis said ~ Davis paved the way ~ so that she could be where she was "today". Coincidence?

I mean, first, I was hearing Sammy's name echoing in my mind for the past three days, then a book and video mention the man. Silly thing, really, but odd to me.

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