Yes I Can! The Sammy Davis Jr. Story

Yes I Can! The Sammy Davis Jr. Story

by Sammy Davis Jr.



"To describe the prodigious talents of Sammy Davis Jr. is, indeed, a difficult task to accomplish in a small space. The man who can sing, dance, impersonate, produce, direct, be funny, and be dramatic is a rare find in show business at any time." So says Frank Sinatra of his Rat Pack compadre in the impressive 96-page booklet that accompanies this long-overdue four-CD box set tribute. An artist who was regarded less seriously by the general public (and the press too, to some degree) than were Sinatra and fellow Rat Packer Dean Martin, Davis was blessed with an incomparable array of creative gifts that defined a personal style as unique as any of his peers'. Despite personal demons (sensitively enumerated in Gerald Early's thoughtful essay on the political and cultural issues informing Davis's life and times) that drove him into some foolhardy projects for the sake of a buck, the valleys remain well in the shadow of the peaks, especially the musical ones. Those are on stunning display here, beginning with 1949's fanciful "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile" (notable less for Sammy's ebullient vocal than for the fancy tap-dancing he does on the track) and winding up 90 tracks later with a powerful version of the man's raison d'etre, "I've Gotta Be Me," a 1977 track from this collection's all-live fourth disc. In between those moments Davis is presented assaying the 20th century popular songbook, with formidable interpretations of Porter, the Gershwins, Johnny Mercer, Rodgers and Hart, Styne and Cahn, Bricusse and Newley…the list goes on, nearly every writer represented being in the top rank of his generation. Yes, the unfortunate "The Candy Man" is here, but that was Sammy too (and really, who could have made more of it than he?). Better to remember him for the dreamy interpretation of Rodgers and Hart's "My Romance," or the winsome reading of "Hey There," or the amazing blend of intense drama and tender heartedness he brings to his Top 20 single from 1963, "The Shelter of Your Arms." Or pick your own transcendent performance -- there's a raft of them here on what is one of the smartest, most thoughtfully assembled box sets ever released.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/09/1999
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227597221
catalogNumber: 75972


Disc 1

  1. Smile, Darn Ya, Smile
  2. Gypsy in My Soul
  3. Hey There
  4. Birth of the Blues
  5. Easy to Love
  6. My Funny Valentine
  7. That Old Black Magic
  8. Love Me or Leave Me
  9. Something's Gotta Give
  10. Too Close for Comfort
  11. There's a Small Hotel
  12. I Guess I'll Hang My Tears out to Dry
  13. But Not for Me
  14. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
  15. I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'
  16. There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York
  17. Soliloquy
  18. Change Partners
  19. The Lady Is a Tramp
  20. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You
  21. Get on the Right Track, Baby

Disc 2

  1. A Lot of Livin' to Do
  2. Begin the Beguine
  3. My Romance
  4. Falling in Love with Love
  5. Soon
  6. Thou Swell
  7. Let There Be Love
  8. Guys and Dolls
  9. Bye Bye Blackbird
  10. Blame It on My Youth
  11. Here's That Rainy Day
  12. Lush Life
  13. A Stranger in Town
  14. What Kind of Fool Am I?
  15. Once in a Lifetime
  16. Someone Nice Like You
  17. As Long as She Needs Me
  18. I Married an Angel
  19. Falling in Love Again
  20. Me and My Shadow
  21. Teach Me Tonight
  22. April in Paris
  23. Night Song
  24. I Want to Be With You

Disc 3

  1. I've Gotta Be Me
  2. Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)
  3. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye
  4. This Was My Love
  5. If I Ruled the World
  6. The Shelter of Your Arms
  7. Yes I Can
  8. Gonna Build a Mountain
  9. Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat
  10. 'Deed I Do
  11. Walkin' My Baby Back Home
  12. The Party's Over
  13. Unforgettable
  14. People
  15. Here I'll Stay
  16. I Think I Like You
  17. At the Crossroads
  18. I'll Begin Again
  19. The Candy Man
  20. Mr. Bojangles
  21. Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow (Baretta's Theme)
  22. I'm Not Anyone
  23. Life Is a Woman
  24. Lover, Come Back to Me

Disc 4

  1. Something's Gotta Give
  2. And This Is My Beloved
  3. Hey There
  4. It's All Right with Me
  5. Ethel, Baby
  6. Too Close for Comfort
  7. Once in a Lifetime
  8. What Kind of Fool Am I?
  9. West Side Story Medley: Jet Song/Something's Coming/Cool/Tonight/A ...
  10. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody
  11. Come Back to Me
  12. Birth of the Blues
  13. Once in Love with Amy
  14. If It's the Last Thing I Do
  15. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
  16. With a Song in My Heart
  17. As Long as She Needs Me
  18. Bye Bye Blackbird
  19. Where or When
  20. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You
  21. Without a Song
  22. I've Gotta Be Me

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sammy Davis   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Kurt Weill   Composer
Paul Anka   Composer
Titus Turner   Composer
Jolson   Composer
Vincent Youmans   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Johnny Harris   Composer
Jerry Ross   Composer
Jerry Bock   Composer
Richard Adler   Composer
Fred E. Ahlert   Composer
Leslie Bricusse   Composer
Lew Brown   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Betty Comden   Composer
Gene DePaul   Composer
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Ray Henderson   Composer
Alan Jay Lerner   Composer
David McLees   Executive Producer
Anthony Newley   Composer
Cole Porter   Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Jule Styne   Composer
Roy Turk   Composer
George David Weiss   Composer
Ian Grant   Composer
Sam M. Lewis   Composer
Ron Weisner   Executive Producer
Jim Harbert   Composer
Arthur Levy   Liner Notes
DuBose Heyward   Composer
Joe Young   Composer
Irving Gordon   Composer
Edward Eliscu   Composer
George Forrest   Composer
Dave Dreyer   Composer
Walter Hirsch   Composer
Jean Schwartz   Composer
Larry Holofcener   Composer
Billy Rose   Composer
Lionel Rand   Composer
Jack Meskill   Composer
Robert Wright   Composer
Cyril Ornadel   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Yes I Can! The Sammy Davis Jr. Story 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sammy Davis Jr. was indeed the Ultimate Entertainer. He could sing like a dream, dance like a star--which he clearly was--tap like crazy, play every instrument in the band, and much, much more. He really did it all; instead of just excelling in one area of entertainment, his numerous and unique talents reached out to encompass everything. This boxed set of 4 CDs showcases some of Sammy at his best. His singing, especially on tracks like
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most outstanding box sets I have ever seen. The cover alone gives an indication of what's to come - The Wham of Sam. A very good booklet including wonderful shots of Mr Davis is accompanied by 4 postcards - 'serious Sammy', 'performing Sammy','Drumming Sammy' & 'boxing Sammy'. The live disc is worth the purchase price alone. Buy, Buy, Buy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago