One thing I want to tell you about now, and I'll save the rest for later, is this: One of the presenters, Matt Birbeck, an award-winning investigative journalist and author has just signed a movie deal for his book "Deconstructing Sammy."
Birbeck shared the news after I asked him if he thought his book on the tragic life of Sammy Davis, Jr. would be movie material, and if that explained his use of the term "back story"when he described his layered approach to writing about one of the most versatile and troubled entertainers of our era. Sure enough, Birbeck admitted that he started thinking "movie" soon after he started turning up some of the unexamined pieces of Davis' life.
And who might be cast in the role of Davis? C'mon, that to me is a no-brainer. Who else but Jamie Foxx?(he'd have to lose about 60 pounds first, though)
Sammy Davis, Jr's birthday and mine are the same: December 8. That made him someone special to me. As a kid growing up in Ohio, I kept up with Sammy and his career starting from the years he and his uncle tap danced as part of the Will Mastin Trio, and I cried hard when he got hurt in a car crash that caused him to lose an eye. Years later, at Birdland ,the Manhattan jazz club, I spotted Davis at a table with friends and politely approached him and asked for his autograph. Let's just say he wasn't very nice.That encounter left me promising myself that if I ever became well known and somebody asked me for an autograph I would try not to be like Davis.
If a movie does get made from Birbeck's book, it could go a long way toward re-establishing Sammy Davis, Jr's reputation as a multi-talented entertainer, a gifted dancer, singer and actor who today, is mostly a forgotten man.