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BHM Fashion Tribute: Sammy Davis Jr.

Submitted by on February 17, 2010 – 11:29 amOne Comment

Sammy Davis Jr. is best known as part of the iconic group of entertainers, “The Rat Pack“.

The 60s version of the group, led by Humphrey Bogart, included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford, with Sammy being the only African-American member.

The Rat Pack

Appearing together in the 1954 Ocean’s Eleven film, The Rat Pack went on to perform musical and comedy routines at countless sold out shows in Vegas.

Frank Sinatra and the others refused to play in venues that would not give full service to black entertainers, like Sammy, and eventually forced these Vegas properties to abolish segregation policies.

Liza Minnelli and Sammy Davis Jr.

The group of dapper men are known to this day as style icons, with their cool, rebellious and effortlessly formal menswear including tuxedos, loosened bow ties and fedora hats.

Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra

Sammy Davis Jr. himself began his entertainment career when he was just a child. His father, also an entertainer, not only taught him how to dance, but also tried to shelter his son from racism.

Sammy continued on, establishing his solo career as a musician and on Broadway, until he joined The Rat Pack in 1959.

“These were the last days of true Hollywood glamour, characterized by impeccable yet effortless tailoring. Sharkskin suits, slim ties and fitted dress shirts were hallmarks of the Rat Pack style.” – AskMen.com.

One of today’s R&B sensations, Ne-Yo, cites Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin as a few of his style icons. “Those guys were always dressed to perfection without ever looking like they tried too hard.”

Check out this classic video footage of Sammy Davis Jr. with Johnny Carson, and his Rat Pack buddies, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, singing “Birth of The Blues”:

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