SEARCH: The Great Sammy Davis, Jr.

The Great Sammy Davis, Jr.
by Elliot Thorpe

sammy2Born Samuel George Davis, Jr. on December 8th, 1925 in Harlem, New York City, and from a family with a vaudeville background, it was inevitable that little Sammy would end up in show business.

When his parents split, he was just three years old, and his father took custody of him which meant the young boy followed Sammy Davis, Sr. onto the stage. Taught to dance by his father, Sammy Jr. joined him and entertainer Will Mastin, forming the Will Mastin Trio. It was a team that would see great longevity, interrupted initially by World War II and Sammy Jr.’s drafting. It resurfaced throughout Sammy’s high-profile solo career, and he made sure his father and Mastin received billing wherever he performed.

In the trio’s heyday, critics were singling Sammy out, taking note of his outstanding singing, dancing, and vocal impressions. He was signed in 1955 with Decca Records for his first vinyl LP “Starring Sammy Jr…read more in the Fall issue of SEARCH Magazine.

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