Friday, May 4, 2007
For my birthday (the big 34!) I received a large book that came out earlier this year entitled PHOTO BY SAMMY DAVIS, JR. This remarkable 300 plus page coffee table book is an incredible historic document as well as an essential pop culture artifact.
The book is made up of photos taken by Sammy, who always carried his camera with him, ranging from the 1940's through to the 70's. Sammy was a fine photographer and his subjects range from political figures (The Kennedy family, Nixon)to civil rights leaders (stirring Martin Luther King shots) to musicians (obviously Frank and Dean but also Sonny and Cher and various jazz players) to actors (many notables including a fantastic shots of Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton and some breathtaking shots of a topless Charlotte Rampling) to some lovely photos of Sammy's family, street scenes, girlfriends (including Kim Novak) and life on the road. Also included is text by author and lifelong Sammy friend, Burt Boyar.
Particularly noteworthy are some unpublished candids of Marilyn Monroe. These new images of her alone make the book a valuable purchase and they are very moving to look at.
Even if you aren't a fan of Sammy's I still recommend this lovely Regan publication. If you have any interest in the fifties, sixties or seventies you will find it a fascinating read and a nice addition to your collection.