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Category:    Home > Reviews > Music Compilation > Sammy Davis Jr. - Singing At His Best

Sammy Davis Jr. – Singing At His Best

 

Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: D     Main Program: B-

 

 

There is a great scenes, one of many, in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (1990) where a girlfriend of Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito stars raving about how talented Sammy Davis Jr. is.  This irritates him very much, but we learn how talented she thinks he is, form his singing, to his impersonations of other performers.  The film does not show us this and much of the material on Davis that usually shows up on DVD is when the Rat Pack is on the prowl.  Singing At His Best is a new collection of older performances that shows exactly what that girlfriend date was talking about, and it turns out she was right.

 

After a clip of when Davis was a child performer (You Rascal You), we get song after clip after song that shows why Davis Jr. was a great entertainer, whether it was his dancing, singing or those impersonations.  Such references will be lost for the most part on current generations, but they are good for those who do know, and at least amusing to those who do not.  The songs are:

 

1)     You Rascal You

2)     Hey There

3)     The Birth Of The Blues

4)     Because Of You

5)     This Could be The Start Of Something Big (from the TV show Hullabaloo)

6)     Toot Toot Tootsie (with Diana Ross, Florence Ballard & Mary Wilson: The Supremes)

7)     My Shining Hour

8)     Who Can I Turn To

9)     I’ve Got You Under My Skin

10)  You Came A Long Way From St. Louis

11)  One For My Baby

12)  There’s A Boat Dat’s Leaving Soon For New York

13)  Shall We Dance

 

The set is only about 50 minutes; there is an introduction and a montage at the end with an instrumental nod to Davis.  The picture quality varies, but all the footage is monochrome (black & white).  In a few cases, there is kinescope footage that has been reconfigured to eliminate distortion and is slightly letterboxed.  All the sound in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, adding up to average playback performance, but it is a strong if all too short set of Davis is prime form that is worth a look.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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