In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr. eBook

In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr. ❮KINDLE❯ ➛ In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr. ❥ Author Wil Haygood – Thomashillier.co.uk 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 re He was, for decades, one of the most and White: Epub â recognizable figures in the cultural landscape, his image epitomizing a golden age of American show business His career spanned a In Black Kindle - 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 Black and White: PDF ✓ 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 s and s, 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 US Army in the s, 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 performerBased on painstaking research and thaninterviews, 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.


10 thoughts on “In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr.

  1. Debbie Zapata Debbie Zapata says:

    As usual when I am incredibly moved by a book, I have trouble writing a review This book will bring Sammy Davis, Jr back to life Be sure and visit YouTube as you read, you will be thrilled.1962https www.youtube.com watch v JLd9wSammy was always around and I always loved him I admire anyone who has such a partnership with their body, since I have to fight with mine all the time I also admire anyone with the discipline to develop a talent, make performing look easy, and enjoy himself to As usual when I am incredibly moved by a book, I have trouble writing a review This book will bring Sammy Davis, Jr back to life Be sure and visit YouTube as you read, you will be thrilled.1962https www.youtube.com watch v JLd9wSammy was always around and I always loved him I admire anyone who has such a partnership with their body, since I have to fight with mine all the time I also admire anyone with the discipline to develop a talent, make performing look easy, and enjoy himself to boot.The fast drawhttps www.youtube.com watch v L6aNzHe seemed to be an eternal little boy, needing the reassurance that he was loved by someone He was raised by his father, out on the vaudeville circuit by the time he was 4 And he discovered that spark inside himself that thrived on the work, the performing, the love he felt from the audience I never knew too much about Sammy I only knew he was cool And he had a stage presence that made me watch him even when he shared the stage with Dean and Frank This book shows the offstage Sammy as well as the entertainer He had problems like all of us do And he had a whole passel of other issues in his life because of who he was Death threats from whites, death threats from blacks He spent money before he made it, and drove himself through life at a blistering pace.Maybe he was naive and made some unfortunate choices over the years, but so do we all The point for me is that he lived his way, being true to himself as best as he could That is all any of us can do.The song Mr Bojangles touched my heart for years, always making me a little blue I knew it became Sammy s song, but I did not know he eventually used it as a closer in all of his live concerts I never connected the words with the man until I got to the end of the book, went to YouTube onetime, and listened to the words with my new knowledge of Sammy still filling my heart Even a week later, I still can t watch it without tears coming.Oh, how I wish he could come back and dance.Mr Bojangles, 1985


  2. Mia Mia says:

    This book is both wonderful and infuriating in equal measure First, the positive, the sheer amount of research that has been done is stunning and goes far beyond the life of Sammy Davis Jr There are many anecdotes from people who had not spoken about Sammy before and these help to paint a clearer picture of the man himself, and not just his work It s certainly a book I d recommend to someone who learning about Sammy s life for the first time.The negative The author has a somewhat irritating This book is both wonderful and infuriating in equal measure First, the positive, the sheer amount of research that has been done is stunning and goes far beyond the life of Sammy Davis Jr There are many anecdotes from people who had not spoken about Sammy before and these help to paint a clearer picture of the man himself, and not just his work It s certainly a book I d recommend to someone who learning about Sammy s life for the first time.The negative The author has a somewhat irritating tendency to go off on a tangent I would not go so far as to say these parts are boring, not at all, but there are countless instances whereby the author detours away from Sammy s life and into social context to the point that it almost feels like the author has forgotten what the book is supposed to be about While the research may be extensive, all that information is quite often unnecessary The reader really doesn t need the full list of credits for every actor Sammy comes into contact with, the occupation of the parents of every singer he sings with, the backstory of each songwriter or, a list of books that were published by the same publisher as his autobiography These pauses in the narrative are jarring and by the middle of the book, I found myself beginning to skip those paragraphs, eager to get back to Sammy s story.These tangents would, perhaps, not be so irritating if it didn t result in many moments in Sammy s life being skimmed over if not missed completely For example, this book will tell you all about the history of Cuban American relations but seems to fail to even mention the adoption of Sammy s fourth child His children in fact are mentioned less than a handful of times It also feels as if Sammy s life from around 1977 to his death in 1990 are rushed in the book The author also seems to have a habit of jumping around in time, going into great detail about something that happened in the 80s, only to return back to the 40s in the next paragraph, which can be disorientating The author can also be quite repetitive Can t help but feel the editor did a fairly poor job This book could easily be halved in length.But all in all, a fascinating read about a fascinating man, well worth a look


  3. Ellen Mandly Ellen Mandly says:

    5 Stars Whew 23 hours of Sammy Really interesting and thorough look at an enormously talented and kindhearted, but ultimately sad man, who was always searching for the childhood love and security he never had The author missed nothing its all here starting with Sammy s Cuban grandmother and ending on his deathbed If you are a fan, you ll be a bigger fan, if you aren t, I think you ll still find this a fascinating story of a young boy who s talent supported his father and uncle in 5 Stars Whew 23 hours of Sammy Really interesting and thorough look at an enormously talented and kindhearted, but ultimately sad man, who was always searching for the childhood love and security he never had The author missed nothing its all here starting with Sammy s Cuban grandmother and ending on his deathbed If you are a fan, you ll be a bigger fan, if you aren t, I think you ll still find this a fascinating story of a young boy who s talent supported his father and uncle in the segregated depression era, his lust for white women as many as possible at a time where that could get you killed and his inability to connect with his own race it really baffled him Segregation, civil rights movement, Rat Pat, Broadway, movies, Nixon, drugs, huge money problems, this has everything including his strange and sad hero worship of Sinatra.I m a big fan of this amazing entertainer and sorely regret that I ll never get to see him perform live In Black and White gave me a complete picture of Sammy and shedlight on the good and bad of what I already knew and a whole lot I didn t know Two Big thumbs up


  4. F.R. F.R. says:

    This excellent biography fixes Sammy Davis jr in the various turbulent times he lived through, and goes someway to explaining how he could sometimes seem so out of step with the world around him The narrative flows with ease from the vaudeville days of the 30s to the civil rights movement of the 60s and beyond, making sure that Sammy and his actions are in context the whole way.Anyone seeking another rat pack book will be disappointed, Frank and Dean do drift into the pages occasionally althou This excellent biography fixes Sammy Davis jr in the various turbulent times he lived through, and goes someway to explaining how he could sometimes seem so out of step with the world around him The narrative flows with ease from the vaudeville days of the 30s to the civil rights movement of the 60s and beyond, making sure that Sammy and his actions are in context the whole way.Anyone seeking another rat pack book will be disappointed, Frank and Dean do drift into the pages occasionally although Sinatra really does not come out well but this book is all about Sammy And what emerges is a fragile figure who is both endearing and horribly naive.Haygood is a gifted writer who manages to wear his clearly extensive research lightly, and has crafted a showbiz biog which has depth and insight and keeps you turning the pages


  5. latner3 latner3 says:

    I knew a man, Bojangles, and he danced for you, in worn out shoes With silver hair, a ragged shirt, and baggy pants, the old soft shoe He jumped so high, jumped so high Then he lightly touched down Great read.


  6. Dale Dale says:

    Another good memory of our past


  7. Lauren Lauren says:

    I really enjoyed this book It was a bit over the top at times and I finished it with the suspicion that a lot was left out Unfortunately, the author spends too much time summarizing the details of just about anyone that SDJ met At first, it s interesting but after a while, it s frustrating ex when he gets to the part about Nixon, we have to read quite a bit of backstory that sabout Nixon and not about Sammy I think there was probablyto Sammy s life and the minute details about I really enjoyed this book It was a bit over the top at times and I finished it with the suspicion that a lot was left out Unfortunately, the author spends too much time summarizing the details of just about anyone that SDJ met At first, it s interesting but after a while, it s frustrating ex when he gets to the part about Nixon, we have to read quite a bit of backstory that sabout Nixon and not about Sammy I think there was probablyto Sammy s life and the minute details about others seemed to be just filler My other issue is that the beginning of SDJ s life up until about. 1980 or so was FULL but the last 10 years or so of his life seemed to be glossed over Considering how much detail was poured into the beginning of the biography, it seems unfortunate that the years after Cannonball Run seemed rushed It could just have been because at that point SDJ was at the end of his career Who knows In any event, I DID enjoy this book despite those things I definitely recommend


  8. Lee Anne Lee Anne says:

    This is a great book I learned much about Sammy Davis, Jr that I didn t know, from his vaudeville childhood he literally never went to school a day in his life, on the road with his father from infancy , to his porn fetish andSumming it up like this doesn t do it justice, though Wil Haygood is such a good author when I say he writes like a great newspaper columnist, I mean it as a compliment He is poetic in his language, but not to the point of annoyance for an example of how to be This is a great book I learned much about Sammy Davis, Jr that I didn t know, from his vaudeville childhood he literally never went to school a day in his life, on the road with his father from infancy , to his porn fetish andSumming it up like this doesn t do it justice, though Wil Haygood is such a good author when I say he writes like a great newspaper columnist, I mean it as a compliment He is poetic in his language, but not to the point of annoyance for an example of how to be too fancy with the language in another Rat Pack bio, oddly enough see Nick Tosches book on Dean Martin, which is just awful Some of the passages here are heartbreaking The gold standard of entertainment biographies is, for me, Peter Guralnick s two volumes on Elvis Presley, encyclopedic but not at all boring In Black and White is far from encyclopedic I learned from Altovise Davis recent obituaries that she and Sammy adopted a child but it is definitely never boring


  9. Amanda Amanda says:

    Sammy Davis Jr was a man raised on a stage who had no roots other than the road I can t imagine what it does to a psyche when you become the primary breadwinner at 5, on the road your entire life with a father who relies on your performance and a mother who doesn t seem to care that you had no childhood because she is chasing dreams of her own Davis was a walking contradiction, someone who tried to laugh with the jokers so he didn t have to admit they were laughing at him, a true genius when Sammy Davis Jr was a man raised on a stage who had no roots other than the road I can t imagine what it does to a psyche when you become the primary breadwinner at 5, on the road your entire life with a father who relies on your performance and a mother who doesn t seem to care that you had no childhood because she is chasing dreams of her own Davis was a walking contradiction, someone who tried to laugh with the jokers so he didn t have to admit they were laughing at him, a true genius when performing and someone who was never comfortable in his own skin It was a story of a man butbroadly of a time in old Hollywood and pre Hollywood vaudeville An interesting read, glad I picked it up


  10. Rick Saunders Rick Saunders says:

    A beautiful bio by a writer who obviously cared about his subject That s not to say he doesn t dish the dirt, he does but it s done thoughtfully and within reason I wish there had beeninfo on Sammy s recording processes, how he worked out the songs, how he decided what arrangements he liked I would like to have heard about his final recording session, a gorgeous song done as a duet for Lena Horne But those are small gripes compared with what we are given by the author If you like Samm A beautiful bio by a writer who obviously cared about his subject That s not to say he doesn t dish the dirt, he does but it s done thoughtfully and within reason I wish there had beeninfo on Sammy s recording processes, how he worked out the songs, how he decided what arrangements he liked I would like to have heard about his final recording session, a gorgeous song done as a duet for Lena Horne But those are small gripes compared with what we are given by the author If you like Sammy this is the book you want to read


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