Sammy the country music singer
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 03/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sammy Davis, Jr., and country music seem to be a rather odd combination. Be that as it may, Sammy did dabble in country music. He didn't just sing a little of it, though; he was good at it. He made a few songs I never particularly liked amazingly enjoyable to listen to. If that's not proof of Sammy's immense talent, I don't know what is. These ten songs are all excellent, even Hey Won't You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song), a tune which usually gives me a headache just to think about. While unmistakably Sammy, Sammy's voice has a different tone to it in these songs; it's a little lower, absent the kind of flourishes that made Vegas crowds go wild; heck, he almost sounds country a few times. Of particular note on this CD are Closest of Friends, Come Sundown, and Lonesome Me. Mention a Mansion is fantastic, bringing in some real country background singers to back up Sammy's lead vocals. Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette) is a lot of fun, but it is really the ballads that shine on this collection. Topping the hits, in my opinion, is The River's Too Wide, where Sammy comes closest to letting a little of the vintage Sammy sound pour forth. I must note the fact that there are several CDs of different titles consisting of these same ten songs; each one just shuffles up the order of the tracks. All of the following albums are basically identical: The Great Sammy Davis Junior, The Country Side of Sammy Davis, Jr., Sammy in Nashville, Magic Collection, Ten Best Golden Greats, and Closest of Friends. I own two of them myself, and I never noticed they were the same until tonight. I don't know why record companies insist on doing things like this. My suggestion is to pick the CD with the most appealing cover."