In honor of Black History Month, I’ll be featuring African-American artists who have helped shape the way we do music in America. Enjoy!
Sammy Davis Jr. was an amazing vocalist, broadway star,soap opera star, Rat Pack member, and activist. He apperaed in 38 films, including the original Oceans 11. He used his voice as a force for change, as he recognized that music could reach people whose ears might otherwise be closed to him because of the color of his skin. In his early career he was welcomed to perform in major venues, but entertain, but could not stay at the hotels he performed in, gamble in their casinos or patronize the hotel restaurants and bars. As his fame grew, he started to refuse to perform at segregated venues, pointing a spotlight on the problem of racism.
Sammy’s 1962 version of “What Kind of Fool am I?” got him inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and that’s the song that’s brightening up my Saturday. I hope it brings joy to yours.