Music fans are getting a whole new perspective on Sammy Davis Jr. with Deconstructing Sammy: Music, Money and Madness.
The book, written by Matt Birkbeck, is an illuminating work about the entertainer’s life filled out with shocking information.
For starters, the book states that Sammy’s shows often served as a front for mob-controlled operations, like investment schemes, and that the FBI knew about it. Sadly for Sammy it was those ties that left him bankrupt at the time of his passing.
Deconstructing Sammy delves even further to reveal the depths of his financial woes. Things were so tight for the singer at one point that he had to decide whether he’d treat his throat cancer with surgery or radiation therapy based on how much a given procedure would cost. He also took into consideration which of the two methods would still allow him to sing for a living.
Of course, any exposé wouldn’t be complete without a few juicy secrets about the bedroom, and Deconstructing Sammy delivers the goods under the “madness” heading.
The book divulges lurid details about Sammy’s marriage to Altovise Davis and their intimate friendship with Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense. The book also reveals that his relationship with Altovise may not have been all that it seemed because he, apparently, felt pressured to marry a Black woman after his divorce from May Britt in 1968.
Deconstructing Sammy: Music, Money and Madness is available in stores for $15.99, or you can buy it from online retailers like Barnes & Noble, who also give you a free preview of the book.
— Sonya Eskridge