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1. Why Me?: The Sammy Davis, Jr.
2. Photo by Sammy Davis, Jr.
3. Sammy Davis Jr. Me And My Shadow
4. In Black and White: The Life of
5. Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father
6. Yes I Can The Story of Sammy Davis,
7. Yes I Can - The Autobiography
9. Gonna Do Great Things: The Life
10. Sammy: The Autobiography of Sammy
11. Sammy Davis, Jr. True FBI Files
12. Yes I can : the story of Sammy
13. Sinatra and his rat pack: A biography
14. "I Can Do Anything": The Sammy
15. Voices of joy, voices of freedom:
16. Why Me: Sammy Davis Jr Story
17. The Sammy Davis, Jr. Reader
18. Yes I Can
19. Sammy Davis Jr. the Candyman,
20. Why Me? The Sammy Davis Jr. Story

1. Why Me?: The Sammy Davis, Jr. Story
by Sammy, Jr. Davis
Paperback: 32 Pages (1990-05)
list price: US$5.95 -- used & new: US$50.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0446360252
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a Guy!
His title is poignant--it could mean, "Why am I discriminated against just for being black?" or it could mean, "Why did God single me out for such stardom and an extraordinary life?"Both of these themes weave throughout the book.Sammy was part of a show-biz trio with his father and "uncle" Will Mastin.He began performing at a very young age, and these two kind men managed to shelter him against racism until he entered the Army.Then, literally from day one, he faced the worst of racial hatred and ostracism, which lasted well into his famous years.He had his nose broken three times. He could play in a Las Vegas club, but had to find accommodations elsewhere.He could not enter the casinos where he played.When he married the blonde and beautiful May Britt, there were still states that had miscegenation on the books, so they could not travel together legally.But little short, one-eyed Sammy was determined to beat the odds."If I'm a star," he figured, "I can break down these doors."But he didn't have an easy time of it.The whites thought he was too black, and the blacks thought he was too Uncle Tom.He was all set to perform at JFK's inauguration, when he was suddenly "uninvited."He became personal friends with MLK, Jr. and RFK, only to see them gunned down.His marriage to May died because he was the "always on" guy, drinking and whoring and never there for their three kids.He HAD to live up to his "swinger" image, and he felt that stardom was the only hedge against his being deemed a second-class citizen.He then met Altovise, a black woman whom he married.It seems as though she had a much better tolerance for his over-the-top lifestyle than May did.But he still ended up $1M in arrears to the IRS, which he eventually paid off.(He was always good at earning money, but even better at spending it.)He was a brilliant star, good at singing and dancing. telling jokes, and playing the trumpet and drums.Frank Sinatra was his lifelong friend, giving him breaks and encouraging him every step of the way.And Sammy championed RFK as the best president that we could have had during our times for civil rights.This book ends four years before his death, but the cause of death was throat cancer--too much singing and smoking and drinking killed him in the end.But what a ride!

5-0 out of 5 stars Master Autobiography By A Master Entertainer
In simple, down-to-earth prose, the late Sammy Davis, Jr. tells his moving life story, from playing cheap theatres in the 1920s South as a five-year-old with his uncle, to the magnificent fame he achieved decades later. Before he became universally beloved, Davis had to endure, and overcome, brutal bigotry. The best line of the book is when he asks, "How do you kill an idea?" His answer: "With a better idea." Go read it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Insight into an era
Fascinating personal account of show business, racism, politics and famous personalities from the 40s to the 80s.Shows how excess (Sammy) or even the appearance of excess (Dean Martin) is useful (necessary?) for the publicity that makes one a star.

I really enjoyed this book, I had no idea what the blacks in the US had to go through, having grown up in Australia.Sammy had a big chip on his shoulder which he carried throughout his life but it is understandable whenyou read what he went through. This isn't just a boring story of a star'slife, it is a fascinating look at racism, politics, being rich beyond yourdreams and in debt for millions - a great read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another tearjerker about the human condition
Mr Davis'is revealed to be much more than performer. We find Sammy to be an activist, comedian, swinger, a great human being. His friendship with Frank Sinatra is shown to be pivotal in his giving up drugs. Another laugh and cry book. ... Read more

2. Photo by Sammy Davis, Jr.
by Burt Boyar
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2007-02-01)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$24.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061146056
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Sammy Davis Jr.--iconic, legendary, in a word, classic. While the world has long known of Davis's unparalleled abilities to sing, dance, and act, only his closest friends and associates knew of his amazing talent and passion for photography. Now, in this collection of never-before-seen photos, Burt Boyar, Davis's longtime friend, exposes these memorable images for generations of his fans, portraying a side of Davis that has long remained a secret to the world at large. Here are Davis's candid shots including his closest friends--Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Sean Connery, and Paul Newman--not to mention scores of the twentieth century's biggest stars captured at their most casual and revealing moments.

But beneath this public veneer is also a strikingly private side of Davis, one that gives a glimpse into his difficult past and long road to success. Tracing Davis from his humble origins, the moments captured here demonstrate the struggle that he faced as an African-American performer during racially divided times and show the difficulties of being one of the country's most revered celebrities when his mere presence signaled the changes taking shape across America.

Accompanying these unforgettable images are Boyar's intimate remembrances of Davis, as he gives a history and a context for many of Davis's striking photographs. Together with the photos, Boyar's words offer a side of the performer far removed from his Rat Pack persona--one that is at once touching and fascinating. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

4-0 out of 5 stars Pix by Sammy!
One of the multi-talented Sammy Davis' interests was photography. Beginning in the mid-1940s, he began snapping shots of fellow show biz entertainers, famous people and other subjects. A decade-and-a-half after Davis' death, his long-time friend Burt Boyar selected several hundred of Davis' b&w and color photographs, added a lengthy biographical narrative and published PHOTO BY SAMMY DAVIS, JR. in 2007.

PHOTO BY SAMMY DAVIS, JR. is a hefty book, maxing out at 338 pages. In one respect, it's a marvelous, nostalgic trip down 'Entertainment Lane.' Snaps of Frank, Dean, Joey Bishop, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, Ed Sullivan, etc. give the reader a rare, behind-the-scenes look at Hollywood, Vegas and Broadway. Seeing so many of those storied performers in their prime is a treat. Other photos show Martin Luther King and assorted people and events connected with the 1960s civil rights movement along with generic shots of various subjects (slums, bums on a street, views from a hotel window, life in the Davis family, etc.).

Photo quality varied. Some shots were right on the mark; others, not so great. Boyar's reminiscences were a definite plus, offering insights into a very complex individual.

Depending on your expectations, PHOTO BY SAMMY DAVIS, JR. should be of interest. While some of the photos aren't that greatest technically, the combination of rare images and affectionate memories will bring the talented Mr. Davis to life once again. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a Class Act--but why wouldn't it be--so was Sammy!

What a surprise to see this wonderful book appearing in 2007,17 years after the passing from the entertainment scene in 1990 of one of the greatest all around entertainers of the 20th Century.
Sammy Davis Jr. had so many talentd;but I had never suspected that he had so great a love for photography and was such a talented photographer himself.In the woeld of entertainment photography and photographers are forever present and to someone like myself,I would think that the great people and stars would be sick and tired of the cameras and all that went with it. Burt Boyar,Sammy's longtime personal friend,shows hus how much Sammy loved photography and that ,even though he was himself,one of the greatest of the greatest,idolized and loved the other great artists around him,and how he loved to capture them and moments around him.
No doubt that show business is a world of great competiveness,friendships that go deep,often break up,;and often the fans are left believing what is published by people more interested in getting a headline,expose,or whatever;whether it is true or not,and it is very hard to know what to believe.
In this book,the reader or fan will be left with the impression that we reall see the
"real" Sammy and his friends,family and that they are all his heros and had his total admiration. One also gets the impression that Sammy loved and respected everyone he came in contact with and he recieved similar love ,affection,and admiration in return.While this book has hundreds of wonderful photographs;one simply can't put aside how many thousands of others Sammy must have taken,that we would love looking at,but will neve4r have the opportunity to do so,
In going through this book,and as you turn the pages,you are going to experience memories of the great entertainers that filled the screens and were legends in every sense of the word.Of course,we all had our favorites,but it wasn't just a few ;we had many favorites.
I followed and was entertained by many of those people that Sammy photographed.I am now in my 70's and whether it is just because of my age or not,I have to admit that the entertainers of the the period od Davis,Sinatra Crosby,Lewis,Taylor,Martin,Burnett,Monroe,Curtis,Quinn,Burton,Benny,Novak,Gleason Leigh, GrleMcQueen,Cole,Marvin,Ball,and on and on has a quality and class that
that we were so fotunate to have enjoyed;but unlikely to see again.
The thing about these actors ,and to much the same extent,it is the same with musicians,sports figures and yes even politicians,they were greatand interesting people ,both in their professions as well as in their private ,actually often public,lives.
Physically,this is a fairly large,heavy book;but it is well constructed,the paper,printing and pgotograph reproduction is first class .Sammy and a lot of the others in the book knew what class was all anbout,and I am sure they would say that what Burt Boyar has done with Sammy's photos is "A Class Act"

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Way To Buy
My purchase came very fast & was packaged so safely. I will continue too order from AMAZON, the seller is the best.


5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Retrospective
If you grew up in the 60's and 70's like I did, you will probably really enjoy this book. If you grew up before then, you will definitely love it. I knew who Sammy was (and "the Rat Pack"), but I never fully appreciated how special he was and how interesting his life must have been. This book is interesting because it is full of photos taken by Sammy of famous people that he knew well (like Marilyn Monroe). Many of them are at his home or theirs, and they are so authentic and unguarded. Like snapshots taken of your own family, but Sammy had a GREAT eye. He could have had a career as a photographer. Really, really fascinating, and highly recommended.

I picked up this book because I enjoy black and white photography and I also enjoy seeing photos of celebrities. This book has it all. The photos are excellent; there are many photos of great actors, musicians and politicians. I never realized what an excellent photographer Sammy Davis Jr. was till I got this book. I also enjoyed reading the stories behind the photos by Burt Boyar. If you enjoy reading interesting celebrity anecdotes and photos this is the book for you. The book is a large book, and would be great on a coffee table to add to interesting discussions. I had it out the other day and my father mentioned about some of the photos of celebrities taken from the 1950s that he always admired. Great book, worth purchasing. ... Read more

3. Sammy Davis Jr. Me And My Shadow
by Arthur Silber Jr.
Paperback: 357 Pages (2003-09-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0965567559
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Arthur Silber Jr., Sammy's best friend relives the twenty-two years of their intimate journey together.Experience the glamour and the glitz, the tears and heartbreak of those times.Arthur is there to report on the real story of the devastating auto accident that cost him his eye, Sammy's suicide attempts, his affair with Kim Novak, his close relationship with Eddie Cantor, breaking the color barrier in Miami, inside stories of the Rat Pack and of course Sammy and May Britt.There's no living person who knows more about Sammy Davis Jr. than Arthur Silber Jr. Silber's book is a must read for every Sammy Davis Jr. fan. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Forever joined by love
Me and My Shadow is a story filled with all the joy, love, pain, happiness and sorrow one could possibly live in a lifetime.Being a black women and growing up in the era of racism and Jim Crow, I could feel the pain I was reading about.To color Sammy's love for another and to label humans for sharing, showing and giving their love is the demarcation line that ran through Sammy's life.
Through it all Arthur Silber gave me a glimpse of what true but sometimes complicated, unconditional love was all about.
My first thrill when I opened the book was to see all the spectacular photo's.I got a clear picture of Arthur and Sammy's life. The pictures were a treat for my eyes and it provided me with a window into their soul's.
Thank you Arthur for letting me in on the good, the bad and the ugly.Thank you for showing and telling me about Sammy's persuit of love and acceptance, in a world where being the proper color was everything and no matter how much talent Sammy had, he still was not able to walk through the front door.
To see two people share a relationship that was as close as a family member's without being blood is a true testament to Arthur and Sammy's character, in a time when being black meant, you stay on your side of the trackes.
The read was tasty, the pictures delectable and the story is Golden.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sammy Davis Jr. Me and My Shadow
I have worked professionaly with Mr. Silber and I believe him to be a truthful storyteller without ulterior motives.Reading this book is like listening to his stories just as he has recounted them to me.I enjoyed the fact that this book is not "as told to", nor is it glossed over with happy endings and filled out with sordid details.The photographs are marvelous, the majority being taken by the author himself while on the job.This book reminds the reader that an era is gone and what passes for entertainment these days is sad in comparison.

5-0 out of 5 stars Because Arthur Silber Jr. Was There Firsthand
I like this book because the author, Arthur Silber Jr., was actually there during the so called "Rat Pack" days, and witnessed these events first hand.Also, I come from a long entertainment background, and his show-biz vernacular is right on!It is interesting to get a bird's eye view of this history, and this is a fabulous book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sammy Davis Jr. Me and My Shadow
This is an easy read and an excellent book defining the struggle of Sammy Davis Jr. as he worked to become a superstar, written by his best friend who shared the life experiences with Sammy. No one else has written a book on Sammy Davis Jr., that I am aware of, who has actually experienced a relationship with Sammy. The book has over 300 photographs most of which are obviously from the personal photo album of the author. They give a wonderful validity to everything written in the book. People of Co lor today may be surprised to learn just how much Sammy did to make their freedoms possible. This book is an excellent read. By the way, I notice on your website that you list publisher as unknown. In fact, the publisher is Samart Enterprises, as stated in the book, the company formed by Sammy and the author and still owned by Mr. Silber. ... Read more

4. In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr.
by Wil Haygood
Hardcover: 528 Pages (2003-10-07)
list price: US$26.95 -- used & new: US$3.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 037540354X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
He was, for decades, one of the most recognizable figures in the cultural landscape, his image epitomizing a golden age of American show business. His career spanned a lifetime, but for years he has remained hidden behind the persona he so vigorously generated, and so fiercely protected. Now, in this surprising, illuminating, and compulsively readable biography, we are taken beyond the icon, into the extraordinary, singular life of Sammy Davis, Jr.

In scrupulous detail and with stunning powers of evocation, Wil Haygood takes us back to the era of vaudeville, where it all began for four-year-old Sammy who ran out onstage one night and stole the show. From then on it was a motherless childhood on the road, singing and dancing his way across a segregated America with his father and the formidable showman Will Mastin, struggling together to survive the Depression and the demise of vaudeville itself.

With an ambition honed by poverty and an obsessive need for applause, Sammy drove his way into the nightclub circuit of the 1940s and 1950s, when, his father and Mastin aging and out of style, he slowly began to make a name for himself, hustling his way to top billing and eventually to recording contracts. From there, he was to stake his claim on Broadway, in Hollywood, and, of course, in Las Vegas.

Haygood brings Sammy’s showbiz life into full relief against the backdrop of an America in the throes of racial change. Sammy grew up trapped between the worlds of blacks and whites, with so much invested in both. He made his living entertaining white people but was often denied service in the very venues he played. Drafted into a newly integrated U.S. Army in the 1940s, he saw up close the fierce tensions that seethed below the surface.Dragged into the civil rights movement, he witnessed a hatred that often erupted into violence. In his broad and varied friendships and alliances (with Frank Sinatra; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Richard Nixon; Sidney Poitier; Marilyn Monroe, to name just a few), not to mention his romances (his relationship with Kim Novak and his marriage to the blond beauty May Britt drew death threats), he forged uncharted paths across racial lines. Admired and reviled by both blacks and whites, he was tormented all his life by raging insecurities, and never quite came to terms with his own skin. Ultimately, his only true sense of his identity was as a performer.

Based on painstaking research and more than 250 interviews, Wil Haygood brings us a sweeping and vivid cultural history of the twentieth century, chronicling black entertainment from its beginnings and the birth of popular culture as we know it. In Black and White transcends simple biography to become an important record, both celebratory and elegiacal, of a vanished America and its greatest entertainer. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

I loved reading IN BLACK AND WHITE!I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.Needless to say I wasand still am a Sammy Davis Jr. fan.He past way too early.I only wish he could have lived as long as his father and uncle.This would have given me more of Sammy's life story.DO NOT LISTEN TO ANY OF THE NEGATIVE REVIEWS...BS.I read all of the material written about the greatest entertainer that ever lived.Even Michael Jackson, although a different era, would respect Sammy as an icon in his own generation.If you are interested in Show business history and the 50's, and 60's...BUY THIS BOOK...
ISTEN TO AN AUDIO OF "IN BLACK AND WHITE"!You will be glad you did.Mr. Wonderful is truly a wonderful experience.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not A Definitive Biography
Maybe the definitive biography of Sammy Davis Jr. can never be written.Or maybe it simply hasn't been done.This book is a mixed bag.

The book filters the story of Sammy Davis Jr. through race, everything is either black or white.As a result, you do get some interesting concepts, that Davis did not want to "be" black, as if all blacks (or for that matter, all whites) had something in common.

You do get extensive thoughts about his love for blonde women, and his affairs with Kim Novak is given a prominent amount of space.

You also have a wonderful portrait of Will Mastin, a man who is ignored in every other book about Davis.

But other things are glossed over, his drug and alcohol abuse, his Rat Pack days, even his marriage to May Britt.

Oh, do not expect anything about his music in here, absolutely nothing about any of his records.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Biography filled with Historical Landscapes
A must read!Wil Haygood's book, In Black and White, The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr. not only captures the mesmerizing and oftentimes daunting physical movement of the man- Sammy- in the seemingly separate worlds of black and white but unapologetically captivates the reader with Sammy's human quest for love and approval.

The author skillfully provides the reader with a historical landscape to navigate the multidimensional aspects of the making of "Sammy" from his vaudeville childhood days to the inscription on the headstone of his final resting place--
Sammy Davis Jr. "The Entertainer" He Did It All...and indeed he did.

After reading the book, I can't wait to see Sammy "in living color" thanks to Denzel Washington's insight to purchase the screen rights.

Written by Deleso Alford Washington, J.D., LL.M.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not the real story...
This book does not reflect the spirit of the life of Sammy Davis, Jr. I'm afraid that it relects the spirit of the life that the author, Wil Haygood, unfortunately must have led.

I am very familiar with the details of Sam's life, I have heard it in his own words. Sam was a very pragmatic optimist who imagined the world in a very color-blind way. This is where Mr. Haygood leads the un-informed reader very far away from Sam's actual beliefs.

Sam didn't want to be white, he wanted to be the best. That is what he constantly strived for. Sam stood up to racism so many times, in so many ways. How many times was his nose broken in race baited fights from his hitch in the Army ? Sam experiencedthe ignorance of racism many, many times, from many different people. But for every racist he had to battle, he also saw many more people who he loved, trusted & repected, and who he knew felt the same way towards him.

Almost all of the material in this book is 'lifted' from the books co-written by Sam and Jane & Burt Boyar. These works are the true story. These people were there when these events happened, they witnessed them first hand. Not only has Mr. Haygood taken what actually transpired and twisted it to fit his agenda, he berates the people who daily lived through these experiences with Sam.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent
This is well written, thorough, entertaining, and really a superb history lesson.Great Job Mr. Haygood. ... Read more

5. Sammy Davis Jr.: My Father
by Tracey Davis, Dolores A. Barclay
Hardcover: 272 Pages (1996-04)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$8.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1881649849
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Weaving a compelling tapestry of the life and times and ups and downs of legendary superstar Sammy Davis Jr., and his family, the only daughter of Sammy and Swedish actress May Britt presents a universal portrait of a delicate and often complicated father-daughter relationship. Photos. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sammy's Little Girl
I've looked for this book for a long time.I am interested in Sammy's life
and his death, and I learned much more about his life from his daughter Tracey.It is a fast read book, very imformative, and heart-breaking.
Her writing style gave me more insight to Sammy the father, and the man, not the entertainer....Teri

5-0 out of 5 stars As a life long fan of Sammy Davis, I loved this book...
There are lots of things written on Sammy Davis. I started watching him on TV as a child and as a present my parents took me to see him in Golden Boy on Broadway. I saw him in concert another 7 times. I recently saw a video of his impersonation of Michale Jackson, and I remembered how much I truly ENJOYED his performances. I've read his other biographies.

I have to say, I am truly glad that his daughter wrote this book. It is a truly enlightening perspective - a child's viewpont of her Dad, both good and bad, and her life as Tracy, Two Commas. Her word for having grown up as, Sammy's Kid.

I found the story a wonderful adventure. It made him so real. Okay, he wasn't a great father, but he was who he was and he was one of the greatest performaners ever.

Thank you, Tracey Davis, I really enjoyed this.

Chris, A Lifelong Sammy Davis, Jr. Fan

4-0 out of 5 stars Insider's Perspective!
I enjoyed this book. It was very interesting to hear about Sammy's life and lifestyle from his child's perspective. The book was written in an uplifting manner. I do wish the author had gone into more detail regarding her brothers' & mother's lives and feelings on things. It's a fast read!

3-0 out of 5 stars a daughter's tribute to her neglectful, self-centered father
The sometimes touching story of a girl who wants nothing more in the world than her famous and utterly neglectful father to just love her and recognize her.Much of the book is a pathetic story of this sick alcoholic father doing just about everything humanly possible in life BUT give her what she needs.The odd thing about this book, though really not odd considering how common it is, is that this girl goes through her life so utterly proud of her failure of a father, proud of all his accomplishments, proud of the famous people he hobnobs with, proud of how much time he gives them, proud of how fancy and star-studded his parties are, proud of how much he loves his audiences and spares them no attention, proud of how much money he has, and vicariously proud of herself for just being the daughter of one so awesome.

It's really a sad book, its saddest aspect being that the daughter, while writing, doesn't even realize that though she felt her father "came around" in the end and really learned to love her and treat her well, it never really happened!Sammy David, Jr. DIDN'T come around in the end and learn to love his daughter, his daughter simply matured and learned to relate to him more on his level, thus meeting more of his needs and making a relationship with her that much more palatable to HIM.

The reason I found this book worthwhile enough to plow through was that it gave a strong inside view into the life of an extremely wounded and self-centered man and showed now just how much his neglect affected his child, but also how distorted HER thinking could be as a result of this neglect, allowing her to mistake his few crumbs of love far too late in life for the nutritious meal she once deserved.

This book is really a daughter's tribute to her famous father.My question, really, is her motive for writing it.I suspect that she had grandiose motivations of her own, and wants to bask in the sunlight of her father's glory.I'm always suspicious of tell-alls like this, especially ones that tell "dirty" secrets of still living people who are close to the writers, such as things like the alcoholism of her step-mother, her brother's drug abuse and homelessness...and her own suicide attempt.Although I'm not a puritan by any means, I feel some of these things, for the author's own personal and emotional safety, would be better left told to a therapist...

3-0 out of 5 stars Has It's Weaknesses
The reminisences of her childhood as Sammy Davis Jr.'s only bloodchild is interesting "remember, you're a Davis" and adds interesting insight. However, this book is marred by her obvious hatred and long tangents against Altovise, the third Mrs. Sammy Davis, Jr.(which is clearly due to the fact that her mother was the second Mrs. Davis)If you over look this, it makes a good read. ... Read more

6. Yes I Can The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr.
by Sammy, JR wihe jane and burt boyar Davis
 Hardcover: Pages (1965)

Asin: B001PBNJ42
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Mr. Entertainment: a nearly complete story
An Excellent story, well written, well told, and fairly accurate to boot.
Much is better retold in his second autobiography "Why Me?".If you're a avid fan - get both, otherwise... consider getting the coffee table book "Photo" along with "Why Me?" both by and about Sammy Davis Jr.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Celebrity Bio...
The great Sammy Davis Jr. could sing, dance, act, do imitations and tell jokes. He also tells a captivating story about poverty, race in america, his unlikely fascination with Judaism, and the pitfalls of fame and fortune. This is definately one the best celbrity biographies I've ever read: extremely well written.

1-0 out of 5 stars Yes I Can
They oughta call this book "Yes I Can - If Frank Says It's OK", because everybody knows Sinatra calls the shots with all those guys.

4-0 out of 5 stars When he was good
This autobiography tells the story of Sammy Davis Jr. up until the sixties. It tells the now legendary story of his starting out as a four - year with the Will Mastin trio. It tells of a long - climb through many obstacles to get to the top of the show- business world. It tells of his contending with prejudice and discrimination especially during his time in the Army. And it also reveals his courage in confronting this, and in standing up for his own people. It does not tell the much sadder last part of Sammy Davis Jr. 's story when he seemed to sink into drug and alcoholic addiction, and deteriorated morally as well as in health terms. It does not tell the story of the six- pack a day smoker's final cancer.
It reveals the earlier more optimistic Sammy Davis Jr. He was usually referred to in his glory days as the greatest all- around entertainer show- business ever had. And in truth he was a terrific dancer, a quite good but not great singer, and just a remarkably energetic entertainer. He had humor about himself and about the world, about his one eye, about his being a black Jew. One interesting part of this book tells about his friendship with Jeff Chandler an actor who was Jewish and who died young. And how that influenced on Davis's own decision to convert to Judaism.
Davis was a person who you radiated not only great energy but a great hunger to be approved of and loved. He received tremendous applause on stage but perhaps that did not fully satisfy his need. Raised without formal schooling, and always on the road he too had a restlessness about him as if he were never at home in the place he stood. There was something to my mind tremendously moving about this part of his stage identity. He needed the applause so much the urge of the spectator was to see him get the applause.
His private life was no great picnic and included three divorces. His daughter by the actress May Britt who apparently was a very decent person and a good mother, has written a memoir about her often absent father. His friends Sinatra, Dean Martin , the Rat Pack are all with the exception of Shirley MacLaine now gone.
In a way in his struggle to get to the top, his fighting against prejudice his 'making it' he exemplifies the American dream. But in the prejudice he suffered, and in the downfall of his latter years he also seems to exemplify an American tragedy.
He was enormously likeable and gave millions of people pleasure with his on- stage antics.
Thanks Sammy you truly were a star.
This book tells in detail the story of his early and best years. It may be too long but it does have much valuable material for anyone who takes an interest in his life.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
I first read this book when I was 12 years old and was in awe of how someone could achieve so much after so many trials. As an adult, I have searched for years for a copy because of how much it moved me. I can still remember the pictures and some of the facts even after 26 years. ... Read more

7. Yes I Can - The Autobiography of Sammy Davis Jr.
by Samy Davis Jr.
 Hardcover: Pages (1965)

Asin: B000H45XY2
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 Unknown Binding: Pages (1967)

Asin: B003YEZ1AI
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9. Gonna Do Great Things: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr.
by Gary Fishgall
Hardcover: 448 Pages (2003-10-21)
list price: US$26.00 -- used & new: US$3.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743227417
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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A major reappraisal of the life of legendary entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr., Gonna Do Great Things is at once an intimate portrait and an exuberant celebration of a wholly American icon. Through his multifaceted talent and personality, Sammy became one of the most magnetic and contentious figures in modern entertainment history. His outstanding talents as a dancer, singer, actor, impressionist, and comedian, combined with his close association with megastars and his interracial marriage, made him a celebrity in the truest sense.

Born in Harlem in 1925, Sammy debuted onstage with Will Mastin's vaudeville troupe when he was only three years old. He was an instant hit, and his talent propelled him into one of the most luminous entertainment careers of his generation. No one could please a crowd like Sammy, whose overwhelming energy and infectious humor exhilarated audiences for sixty years. However, Sammy's life was not without hardship, and his high-spirited attitude often masked a fragile ego. From an impoverished, broken home, he lacked even a single day of formal education, and the rigors of his blossoming show business career denied him the traditional pleasures of childhood. Racism constantly affected his life, particularly when he joined the army in 1943. Because he refused to acknowledge any race-related restrictions, his very existence became a political statement. An active member of the Civil Rights movement and America's first African-American superstar, Sammy paved the way for other black entertainers.

As a charter member of the Rat Pack, Sammy spent the 1950s and 1960s basking in an image of "cool" and endearing himself to the public. But by the 1970s he was relying on cocaine and alcohol, flirting with Satanism, indulging in scandalous sexual behavior, and becoming the punchline of jokes on Saturday Night Live. Though his fans still adored him, his performances suffered. A four-pack-a-day smoker, Sammy succumbed to cancer when he was sixty-four, shortly after celebrating six decades in the spotlight.

Renowned biographer of Hollywood giants Jimmy Stewart, Burt Lancaster, and Gregory Peck, Gary Fishgall brings an actor's and director's understanding of the entertainment industry to Sammy's complicated existence. Meticulously researched and filled with insights gathered from interviews with those who knew Sammy best, Gonna Do Great Things reveals the fascinating and controversial life of this beloved entertainer. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Inside Picture of A True Star
This is an exceedingly well researched glimpse into the early, middle, and later life of the brilliant and God-gifted Sammy Davis Jr.- each period of his genius life very well explored.From birth onwards, SD went through stuff we never dreamed, and did stuff we never knew, but this book gives the whole story, warts and all. A very good read, full of fascinating insights and some tasty dish too. As a longtime Hollywood journalist myself (who had many interactions with Sammy) I found quite a few minor errors (Fishgall called Michael Cole of Mod Squad "Peter Cole",) but most people won't notice these, and will really enjoy this thorough look inside a truly amazing life. Congrats to the author!

Barbara Sternig, Hollywood

3-0 out of 5 stars Life..Expectations vs. unRealistic Avenues
I personally have not read any other book written around the life of Sammy Davis Jr.I was interested after all this time, for I heard so much surrounding such a well known and honored Entertainer.Reading this story at times I found to be tedious and boring, too many descriptors of movies, the theatre and surroundings in the environment of which Sammy Davis Jr. lived.The best part of this story in the last few chapters which captures the essence of ones personal life, unfortunately it surrounds the deterioration of a magnificient man.The story is well written and leads you to believe that the author has researched and thoroughly done his homework.I must say that I am very surprised at the lifestyle that Sammy Davis Jr lead and I feel for his loved ones, because this story of how he was and how he treated his family, his wives, is really terrible and they had to see and want something deeply to have stayed involved and connected to Sammy Davis Jr.I guess also that you have to understand the drugs and addiction and need for stardom to really understand how Altovise, May, his children and his close friends really dealt with him.Truthfully by the count of what this author has documented the only ones who truly benefitted from Sammy Davis Jr. legacy is the World who wanted to be entertained.Those who went to the theatre, to Vegas shows.His wives were just pawns and lived their lives through his status (never getting much from him) and his children, well I am surprised they refer to him as daddy, 'cause it seems as if he was just Sammy in their lives.Truthfully this book is really a very sad story of a man that was... did he really every love his family, it seems as if his only love was the Stage.I think that the author could have written less and got the point across....maybe his aim was to also get you to read the Autobiography, but it also seems like the author capture the essence of all the other material that has been written on this entertainer.I rated it a 3 for interest only, and there were probably 4 good chapters in this book.Authors writing ability I give him 2 thumbs up for research and documentation, footnotes etc... Content and interest to the avid reader, less descriptors and explanation of other characters.I felt at some points in the book that it was more about Frank Sinatra and others then Sammy Davis Jr.

5-0 out of 5 stars i didnt want it to end
i was a fan before i m a bigger fan now. excellentpacing beautifully written and really tells the story of a truly remarkable man i very easliy could have read this in one sitting but i savored every page. highly recommended

5-0 out of 5 stars "Sammy was the "only' of a kind."

This is the only biography I've read about Sammy Davis Jr.I am retired and though born about 10 years after him,it seems to me he was around forever.This biography jives exactly with how I saw his career over the years.The one great enlightenment I got from this book was the personal details;which obviously were new to me,and I suppose would be to anyone who reads it.Every page presented something new and in a very readible style.
Davis did so much and interacted with so many people over so long a period that the author had a huge task to cover it all in such a short biography;I feel what he has done is a supurb job to say the least.
The author makes you feel like you are traveling right along side as Davis pursues his life and career;what more can one ask for in a biogrphy?
If you enjoyed Sammy,you'll surely enjoy this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars *** 1/2 -Even if you read the other new Sammy bio
. . .you'll enjoy this one as well.I wasn't sure I could take another Sammy Davis, Jr. biography so soon after Will Haygood's recent (and excellent) biography, but the brisk pacing and clear writing drew me in.Fishgall sticks to the major events in Sammy's life and doesn't go overboard with the historical background, but a clear picture of the man and his time emerges.I felt an inordinate amount of attention was paid to Sammy's later years and television appearances, but I appreciated learning more about his children and his third marriage. If you can only read one, read "In Black and White." If you're still interested, read Sammy's own books, and include this strong, fair biography. ... Read more

10. Sammy: The Autobiography of Sammy Davis, Jr.
by Sammy Davis Jr., Burt Boyar, Jane Boyar
Paperback: 480 Pages (2000-12-08)
list price: US$28.00 -- used & new: US$66.65
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374293554
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Sammy Davis, Jr. (1925-90) rose from childhood stardom on the vaudeville stage to become one of the most famous African American entertainers of the 1950s and '60s (and the only black member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack).At the same time, he spent most of his career surrounded by controversy and ridicule--over his affairs with white film stars, his 1960 marriage to Swedish actress May Britt, his conversion to Judaism, his closeness to the Kennedys (and later Richard Nixon), and his problems with alcohol and drugs.

When Davis published his first memoir, Yes, I Can, in 1965, it was a critical and popular success--acclaimed for a candor and thoughtfulness rare in celebrity autobiographies and for its painful evocation of life as a black peformer in segregated America.Davis's 1980 memoir, Why Me?, laid bare Davis's troubled relationship to the Kennedys, his ambivalence toward the Black Pride movement, the end of his marriage to Britt (and his complex open marriage with Altovise Davis), and his flamboyant, self-loathing misbehavior, from ruinous extravagance to flirtations with Satanism.

Davis's co-writer Burt Boyar has revised Davis's memoirs, incorporating material from unpublished interviews, and has added a new introduction and epilogue.The result is a testament to an unacknowledged--often uncomfortable--leader in the struggle for racial equality.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars inspiring
I thought this book was very inspiring. This book was very good, and kept me very interested. I like how they put in pictures, and exact dates of when things happened to Sammy Davis Jr. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about an all around performer.

Reviewer: Samantha, Cisneros

3-0 out of 5 stars Poorly edited-Read "Yes I Can" instead
For beginners, this isn't bad. But those who are familiar with "Yes I can" and "Why Me?" (the Davis bios that this book was edited from) will not be happy. Too much of the good stuff from "Yes I Can" is missing, such as Sammy's guilt over his treatment of James Dean and his own mistreatment at the hands of other children and teenagers. Those were some of the most moving parts of that book and they should be included here. Oh well, you can always read the original.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sammy: an autobiography of giant!
I gladly give the life of Sammy Davis Jr. 5 stars, however, the Boyers have done this bright icon who came into their lives a disservice by simply expanding on Sammy's two previous autobiographies with more & longer details without any attempt to focus his memories or put order into the reading & that is why I give the book only 2 stars.

Sammy Davis Jr. rose from childhood stardom in vaudeville to become one of the most famous African-Americans of the 1950s & 1960s. At the same time his career, friends & lifestyle were surrounded by controversy & his experiences as a black performer in segregated America.

Of all the celebrities in the American star-studied panoply, Sammy Davis Jr., crossed over more lines. He converted to an unpopular religion; he had no fear of dating & marrying beautiful white women; he was close to the Kennedys & the Nixons; he was a member of Frank Sinatra's notorious Rat Pack & he played with alcohol & drugs.

It's amusing to read his opinions of the two songs he liked the least as they became best-sellers - going platinum to his amazement.

I think an Index of his best-selling songs, his legendary Las Vegas performances, his world-wide concerts & his movies & television shows should have been included. Sammy Davis Jr., was also a spokesperson for his people & an Index of the movers & shakers of the Civil Rights Movement & the politicians of his time with whom he consulted & for whom he worked, is vital.

There isn't even a curriculum vitae! Do check out my full review of this & other biographies.

2-0 out of 5 stars Sammy A review
This book tries to cram together Yes I Can and Why Me? and in the process the humor and emotions which made those books great, especially Yes I Can, is lost. There is VERY LITTLE new material here. This book is a waste of time to anyone who already knows about Sammy and if they don't this isn't the place to start. ... Read more

11. Sammy Davis, Jr. True FBI Files
by FBI Freedom of Information Privacy Acts
 Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-07-26)
list price: US$5.99
Asin: B003XIJ07U
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Sammy Davis, Jr.
Sammy Davis, Jr. was born on December 8, 1925, in New York City. He began his career in 1928 as a singer. He is also known for his music recordings, and appearances in movies and Broadway shows. He served in the United States Army from 1943 through 1945. He was the victim of two extortion attempts, one in 1961 and the other in 1973. The Assistant United States Attorneys declined prosecution in both cases. The first letter was thought to be a crank-type letter, and the second letter was mailed by a former mental patient who sent letters regularly to well known people. In December 1963, it was alleged that Sammy Davis, Jr. had been kidnaped several years ago by some Chicago mobsters while he was appearing in Las Vegas, and released after being told to forget about marrying movie actress Kim Novak.

... Read more

12. Yes I can : the story of Sammy Davis, Jr. / by Sammy Davis, Jr., and Jane and Burt Boyar
by Sammy (1925-1990). Boyar, Jane. Boyar, Burt. Davis
 Hardcover: Pages (1975)

Asin: B003TYHFUC
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13. Sinatra and his rat pack: A biography
by Richard Gehman
 Paperback: 223 Pages (1961)

Asin: B0006DHN5G
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14. "I Can Do Anything": The Sammy Davis, Jr. Story (Avisson Young Adult Series)
by William Schoell
 Paperback: 116 Pages (2004-03)
list price: US$19.95
Isbn: 1888105615
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15. Voices of joy, voices of freedom: Ethel Waters, Sammy Davis, Jr., Marian Anderson, Paul Robeson, Lena Horne
by Arnold Dobrin
Hardcover: 127 Pages (1972)

Isbn: 0698201701
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16. Why Me: Sammy Davis Jr Story
by Sammy Davis
 Paperback: Pages (1989)

Asin: B000WE0DOC
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17. The Sammy Davis, Jr. Reader
by Sammy Davis Jr.
Paperback: 304 Pages (2001-10-05)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$11.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0374253838
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The life and times of the last great American hipster

Sammy Davis, Jr. (1925-90) rose from childhood stardom on the vaudeville stage to become one of the most famous African American entertainers of the 1950s and '60s (and the only black member of Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack). At the same time, he spent most of his career surrounded by controversy and ridicule--over his affairs with white film stars like Kim Novak and Jean Seberg; his 1960 marriage to Swedish actress May Britt; his conversion to Judaism; his closeness to the Kennedys and, later, Richard Nixon; and his problems with alcohol and drugs.

Davis comes alive in this collection of writings about him, including a 1966 Playboy interview by Alex Haley; an excerpt from the 1983 autobiography of porn star Linda Lovelace; profiles from The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post; and articles from many prominent African American periodicals. The Sammy Davis, Jr. Reader is a composite portrait of a complex, self-conscious man and the society that treated him, for more than forty years, with passionate ambivalence.
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fills in the gaps left by the autobiographies
If you're interested enough in Sammy to have read "Yes I Can" and "Why Me?" (or at least the compiled "Sammy: an Autobiography"), then this book is an absolute must.Any autobiography is bound to have a flattering slant, but this collection tilts the balance back to level.

Editor Gerald Early offers a lengthy foreward which, at first, I thought a bit self-indulgent until I began to grasp the depth of affection he feels for his subject.Don't skip this foreward; it gets better in the later sections.

The writings in the collection are taken from various autobiographies and other texts about the era, and are insightfully organized.This book is not thoughtlessly thrown together; this is clearly a labor of love.In the first 50 pages alone I had enough of my personal Sammy myths dispelled to recommend the book.I can't help but think how I would have felt had I been the editor.The book certainly doesn't try to slam Sammy, but it does offer the bad along with the good, and it can't have been a painless decision to include some of this material.The excerpt from his daughter's book is particularly revealing, and the bit from Linda Lovelace's autobiography is nothing short of disturbing.

Sammy's own tellings of his life story are far from entirely flattering, but this excellent book brings the legend down from even that level, down to where we all live.Sammy was not a perfect man.He was a masterful entertainer.He was a lousy father.He had a heart of gold.He was into some horrifyingly self-destructive behavior.If you love Sammy the artist as much as I do, you owe it to yourself (after reading the autobiography, I think) to read this volume.It's a real eye-opener.And despite the ugly reality it sometimes offers, it hasn't diminished my love and respect for Sammy one bit.Quite the opposite. ... Read more

18. Yes I Can
by Sammy davis jr.
Paperback: Pages (1975-12-15)
list price: US$2.75
Isbn: 0671804960
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19. Sammy Davis Jr. the Candyman, His Life & Times. Vol 1 No.1 Hollywood Remembers Him
by Sammy Jr Davis
 Unknown Binding: Pages (1990-01-01)

Asin: B003X64NBA
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20. Why Me? The Sammy Davis Jr. Story (Large Print)
by Sammy Jr.; Boyar, Jane & Burt Davis
 Hardcover: Pages (1989)

Asin: B002MBKJVK
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