Monday, December 08, 2008
A GREAT SINGER AND DANCER AND A GREAT WIT
Today would have been the 82nd birthday of one of the greatest entertainers of all times: Mr. Sammy Davis, Jr. "The Candy Man died of throat cancer on May 17, 1990. Sammy was born in a Harlem tenement, grew up in vaudeville from the age of three and NEVER went to school. His talents as a mime, comedian, trumpet player,drummer, pianist, singer and dancer are legendary. His hit songs included one of my favorite songs "What Kind of Fool Am I? and equally "I've Gotta Be Me". Sammy lost his left eye in a near fatal auto crash in 1954 and had reconstructive hip surgery in 1985 which enabled him to dance again. Of course his antics on the classic show "Laugh In" are very remembered. Who could forget "Here Comes The Judge" or that famous kiss that that he gave to Archie Bunker (aka Carroll O' Connor) on "All in the Family". God rest you, Sammy. The other birthday of memory today is that of James Thurber. James Thurber was one of the most inventive minds of the 20th century. I urge all readers here to read some of his wonderful stories like the classic "The Unicorn In The Garden", "The Moth and The Star" "The Elephant Who Would be King" and many others. My personal favorite is "The Moth and The Star" for it most epitomizes great dreamers everywhere. I would also like to mention that it is the birthday today of the late great playwright Herb Gardner. If you have never read "The Goodbye People" or "A Thousand Clowns" you owe to it yourself to read them both. Gardner is equal to Neil Simon in many respects. Also on this date Miss Carol Chaning premiered on Broadway singing the classic song "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" in the musical "Gentleman Prefer Blonds". Laugh for today: there will new Broadway treatments of "The Flintstones" and Betty Boop, but bar none the funniest will be a revivial of Ibsen's Heda Gabler with a lesbian cast. Oh well. I am a gay man, but a lesbian version of Ibsen carries things a bit far. Sending Christmas cards out for the first time in years this year. Feels good!