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07 November 2010

Ray Charles (Not) On Swinging With Sammy Davis Jr. (1960)?

The 1960 newspaper The California Eagle had a (beautifully designed, awfully written) show biz news & gossip page, that specifically reported on the adventures of black artists.
On 21 January 1960 they published a squib announcing that Sammy's "[...] 90 minute TV show in June will include Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Count Basie and will be titled Swinging With Sammy Davis Jr."
On 8 December 1960 they had an item stating that "Sammy Davis Junior's smash One Man Show is a buildup to his own in preparation television spectacular to be called The Swinging World of Sammy Davis, Junior which will feature Count Basie and Ray Charles... and even with those boys, ol' Sammy will really have to string out to top the show Harry Belafonte put on from N'Yawk-town."

It's unclear what exactly happened to this initiative. This article in the Trenton Sunday Times Advertiser of November 3, 1963, is just a bit too ambiguous: Sammy Davis "packaged a video special starring himself and featuring Ray Charles, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin - but [...] no network would touch it. [Davis] made clear he felt it was because he, a Negro, was the star" - leaving it open for interpretation if the show was actually taped.

1 comment :

  1. The Swinging World Of Sammy Davis Jr. aired in 1966 and was Emmy nominated for best special. I am not sure who appeared in the broadcast.