Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Sammy Davis, Jr., one of the most talented performers in the world.  He was an actor, singer, dancer, and impressionist. He could do it all.
From a picture on the cover on Legacy Magazine.

 Mr. Bojangles is on my ipod and I play it frequently.  Whenever I hear the song, I see Sammy's life.

"Mr. Bojangles" is a popular song written and recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker in 1968 and covered by many other artists. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band took the song to #9 on the Billboard pop chart in 1971.
The song was inspired by an encounter with a street performer in the New Orleans first precinct jail and not the famous stage and movie dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson nor the New Orleans blues musician Babe Stovall.
According to Walker, a murder on the 4th July weekend of 1965 precipitated the arrest of all the street people in the area. In the crowded cell, a disheveled homeless old man began to talk to Walker who had been arrested earlier for drunkenness. The man told various stories of his life but the tone darkened after 'Mr Bojangles' recalled his dog who'd been run over. Someone then asked for something to lighten the mood and the man obliged with a tap dance.
Walker mentions that all the men in the cell had nicknames to prevent easy identification by the police. The dancer's nickname was 'Mr Bojangles'. In his autobiography 'Gypsy Songman',  Walker makes it clear the man he met was white. Further, in an interview with BBC Radio 4 in August 2008 he pointed out that, at the time, the jail cells in New Orleans were segregated along color lines.
from Wikipedia


  1. What a nice drawing and tribute. I loved Sammy D. Jr. too. I especially loved his dancing. In the 60's, I ran away from home and lived in New York for awhile (I moved there again in the 70's with my husband). Everyone was reading 'Yes, I Can,' Sammy's autobiography, on the subway so I read it too. I loved it. I wonder if Obama was aware of this title when he started his 'Yes, we can" chant??

  2. Another great portrait, Christella. Sammy was such a great entertainer, and this is a great picture!

  3. Great portrait! You must stay busy with all the paintings and drawings that you do!