The entertainer we most closely relate to Michael Jackson in terms of talent, influence and lack of childhood experience, is Sammy Davis Jr. Following our commentary are two video examples of the respect, admiration and love, the kinship between these two entertainment giants of overlapping generations.
Neither man was considered a likely candidate to become world famous; nor did it seem Davis or Jackson was destined to be successful in life at all. They were born poor, male and black in America at a time when many thought those characteristics a distinct disadvantage.
These men began their entertainment careers at about the same age. What made them different was the innate talent possessed by both. Music, rhythm, song, dance and intelligence resonated with them both. All of those elements converged at just the right moment in time to give the world two of the greatest entertainers ever known.
Davis was a show biz veteran by the age of ten; He had previously traveled and appeared on stage with both his parents. When his mother retired from the stage little Sammy, Jr. joined with his father Sam, Sr. and his uncles. They were the Will Maston Trio. Three experienced dancers and Sam, “the kid”.
Michael Jackson came to prominence when he and his four brothers were discovered by Gladys Knight. Berry Gordy, president and founder of Motown Records, who signed the group to a recording contract, thought it would be a better legend if his favorite Supreme, Diana Ross, was attributed with discovering the five young men, and the rest of their talented family. Later When Michael and his brothers left the company, they were prohibited from using their name, The Jackson 5, by Berry Gordy Motown founder.
All has been forgiven. There appears to be no bad feelings on the part of the Jackson family as indicated by Gordy’s presence at Tuesday’s dignified memorial service in Los Angeles, California. Berry Gordy, a recording executive of mega-influence made this profound pronouncement when he spoke, calling Michael Jackson the greatest entertainer of all time. Many agree.
We always heard about Jackson paying money to someone else. We rarely heard of Jackson getting paid, and keeping or holding on to the money. Stories of his generosity are legendary.
There are tales, too, of his excessive spending, for example bidding approximately a million dollars on the bones of John Merrick, aka the Elephant Man, in 1987. Some of those stories of outrageous expenditures are said to have been planted by the ultimate showman, Jackson, himself.
We know he paid millions to get free by divorce from the daughter of The King, Lisa Marie Presley. Michael Jackson even had to use his earnings as collateral for loans with our favorite banking institution, Bank Skank Of America. Everyone should know by now a loan with those vultures will bankrupt all but the richest of the rich. If your name is de Rothschild you can afford to be a customer at
Bank Skank of America
We heard ad nauseum of the money spent to settle cases wherein Jackson was alleged to have molested a minor; or daily reports of the millions spent to launch a legal defense when charged with child molestation. He was acquitted of all charges in the case. Michael Jackson’s finances were slowly draining away as he got older.
It was the same with Sammy. We always saw him with lots of flashy jewelry. We’d heard of his extravagance and excesses. Davis, too, was well known for his generosity. We almost never heard of anyone paying him. In fact when he died he was heavily indebted. His widow was left nearly penniless.
Sammy Davis, Jr. grew up during the era of segregation in the United States. To get a sense of what his life was like read his autobiographies, “Yes, I Can!”, “Why Me?” and “Sammy” all written with Burt and Jane Boyar.
Jackson became successful during the end of the non-violent civil rights era and the beginnings of the more militant black movement in America. He was faced with those who wished to place limits on where he would take his talent. His loving determined attitude and awesome showmanship took him to heights of acclaim never achieved by any other human. Michael Jackson changed the world, and he asked us to join him in making that change.
Both Davis and Jackson, with their families, experienced the pain of not being accepted in the real world. Both men used their artistic ability to break down racial barriers. They used their skills to unify diverse people. Both men were admired, adored, almost loved to death, by their fans; both suffered excruciating loneliness away from their work.
No matter what they looked like, Michael going from a cute little black boy, to attractive young black man to strange looking white woman to some kind of other being whose skin was so white it was whiter than any Caucasian skin because of the skin disorder vitiligo; or Sammy Davis Jr. who also began as a cute little black boy; who later matured into an attractive young dancer. musician- he played several musical instruments, and impressionist, who later ended up with a broken nose, eye patch, or glass eye as trophies from a staged auto accident intended to take his life; the celebrated controversial conversion to Judaism and serial marriages.
No matter what their political affiliation, who they married or socialized with both men always knew they could find much loving acceptance in the black community.They came from us, and they belonged to the world.
We say this to point out the fact in America, as in many nations, it is challenging to be a successful child star and transition into a show business path as an adult with an equally successful, possibly fulfilling entertainment career. It is even more difficult when you are a sensitive, creative genius who just happens to be a black male presenting your art.
We are grateful to have been able to enjoy their talent, they shared their genius with the world. We are grateful for the time they were on this planet
Watch as Sammy Davis, Jr. sings his version of Michael Jackson’s “Bad”.
From 1989 all star birthday tribute to the late Sammy Davis Jr. Michael Jackson pays homage to his progenitor.
We’re glad to say we had the opportunity to spend some time on the planet during their era. What a fantastic experience! Two great entertainers..Sammy Davis, Jr. and now the man who will forever be known as the greatest entertainer of them all, Michael Jackson.