"The success of the Rat Pack or the Clan was due to the camaraderie, the three guys who work together and kid each other and love each other."
Sammy Davis, Jr. - "Mr. Dynamite" - one of the greatest live performers of all time. He did it all... singing, dancing, and acting. And he was a pivotal member of the famed Rat Pack.
He was not just a superstar with the casino crowd but he also conquered Broadway and had a successful television and recording career. You can learn a lot more about the life of Sammy Davis, Jr. from this interview conducted by Bill Boggs:
Here's a clip from the Playboy After Dark late night TV series filmed in 1969 to give you an idea of just how unique this performer was.
Sammy generated a tremendous amount of excitement on stage as you can see in this video he was great regardless of whether he was singing the classics or covering contemporary hits.
He wasn't just a singer who could dance, he was a dancer who could sing... here's a young Sammy when he was with the Will Maston Trio, a vaudeville group that began playing Las Vegas from the very beginning. The Will Maston Trio were the first Blacks to perform on the Strip back in 1944 - they were seen at the El Rancho Motel & Casino.
Sammy was a big draw on the Strip, he headlined at The Frontier Casino in the 1950s and 1960s. No wonder the crowds loved this guy, he was equally dynamic with ballads or fast numbers. His biggest hit, 'The Candy Man' which hit number one, was not a favorite of Sammy's but it gave him some much need heat in 1972 and swelled the attendance at his shows.
He was also a funny guy, as evidenced by this portion of his stage act where he performed hilarious impressions, here for the amusement of fellow Rat Packers Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra.
Sammy Davis Jr died in Beverly Hills, California on May 16, 1990, due to complications from throat cancer. 2 days after Davis' death the sparkling neon lights on the Vegas Strip were darkened for ten minutes, as tribute to a long, distinguished career.
His name can be found on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars in front of The Riviera Hotel.
SAMMY DAVIS, JR.
"I had more clothes than I had closets, more cars than garage space, but no money."
Let's watch Sammy Davis, Jr. get roasted by Don Rickles, another Las Vegas legend, on Dean Martin's show.