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Swingin’ in the Season with Sammy

Published: 12/9/2012
Sammy Davis Jr. was no ordinary entertainer. And “Mr. Show Business,” as he was known, lived a rather extraordinary life: he was a triple threat who could sing, dance and act (and did, from childhood)… he was a Rat (in the best possible sense) who palled around with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin… he was a black man married to a white woman at the height of segregation (and the fight against it)… he was a Christian who converted to Judaism after a life-changing experience.

Being a Jew was important to Sammy Davis Jr., and he proudly wore a Star of David and he talked candidly about his faith and conversion. As the story goes, the Christian-born Davis experienced a change of heart after the car accident that took his left eye. While Davis was recovering from his injuries in the hospital, his friend Eddie Cantor talked to him about the similarities between the Jewish and black cultures. Davis went on to do his own research, and he was sold – he converted to Judaism.

The conversion came toward the beginning of his superstar career… and yet Davis became well known for his swingin' renditions of classic Christmas songs. Perhaps it doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but we don't care. On the day when Davis would have turned 87, we're celebrating his life – and getting into the spirit of the season – by listening to a few of his greatest holiday hits.

Christmas Time All Over the World

Jingle Bells

The Christmas Song

Written by Linnea Crowther

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