Thursday, June 20, 2013
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sammy Davis Jr.
Song:What Kind Of Fool Am I?
Album:The Definitive Collection
Sammy Davis Jr. was known as "The World's Greatest Living Entertainer" and one of the most versatile performers in history. Though it wasn't his biggest chart hit, the 1962 top 20 hit What Kind Of Fool Am I? is probably his signature song. And of course Davis is known as part of The Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. He was born Dec. 8, 1925 in Harlem, NY and as a child he performed with his father in a group led by Will Mastin. He first met Frank Sinatra when Mastin opened for Tommy Dorsey in Detroit in 1941. After serving in the US Army in WWII, Davis returned to the Mastin group and they became headliners in the early 50s. Davis broke out as a solo act and signed with Decca Records in 1954. After losing his eye in an auto accident, Davis had some hit singles. His biggest hit at the time was Something's Gotta Give in 1955. He also made his Broadway debut in the 1955 show Mr. Wonderful. He also got a lot of praise for his performance in the 1958 film Porgy and Bess. Then he became a member of The Rat Pack and regularly performed with Sinatra and Martin at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. He signed with Sinatra's new record label Reprise Records. There was controversy with Davis' conversion to Judaism and his marriage to the very blonde Swedish actress May Britt. It didn't hurt him. He reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962 with What Kind Of Fool Am I? The song was written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley for the show Stop The World-I Want To Get Off. Davis won the 1962 Song Of The Year Grammy. Though Davis continued to have success in other areas, his recording career had stalled by the late 60s though he had a top 20 hit in 1969 with I've Gotta Be Me. He even signed with Motown in 1970 thinking they could make him "hip" again. Davis signed with MGM Records and got his only number one hit in 1972 with The Candy Man from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. That was his last big hit and you can get all of them on this Hip-O budget comp. Though Davis continued to perform in films, TV and on stage, he last recorded in 1976. A lifelong smoker, Sammy Davis Jr. died of throat cancer on May 16, 1990 at age 64. Here's Sammy Davis Jr. performing What Kind Of Fool Am I? on The Andy Williams Show 1962.