Deconstructing Sammy: Music, Money, Madness, and the Mob by Matt Birkbeck

By Matt Birkbeck

Sammy Davis, Jr. lived a storied existence. cherished through thousands over a six-decade profession, he was once thought of an leisure icon and a countrywide treasure. yet regardless of lifetime gains that crowned $50 million, Sammy died in 1990 close to financial disaster. His property used to be declared bancrupt, and his domestic and possessions have been later bought at public sale. as a result of debt, really greater than $7 million owed to the IRS, there has been no threat ever utilizing Sammy's identify or likeness back. It was once as though Sammy by no means existed. Years later his widow Altovise lived at the grounds of the Hillside resort in Pennsylvania- the oldest black-owned hotel within the nation.This as soon as vivacious girl and inheritor to at least one of the best leisure legacies of the 20 th Century lived in poverty and used to be deserted through Hollywood. With nowhere else to move, she became to the Hillside's co-owner and a former federal prosecutor, Albert "Sonny" Murray, to make one final try to unravel Sammy's money owed and transparent his identify. For seven years Sonny probed Sammy's existence, digging deeper and deeper to appreciate how somebody of significant notoriety, wealth and superstar can have misplaced every thing. What he finally found shook him to the center.

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Extra resources for Deconstructing Sammy: Music, Money, Madness, and the Mob

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The children were polite, and all said hello. Altovise returned the greeting, and they sat down for dinner, with Sammy at the head of the table, Altovise on the other end, and the children in between. The dinner conversation was strained. The children were happy to see their father, which was a rare occasion, given his heavy touring schedule. But the presence of this new woman dampened their enthusiasm, especially when Sammy broke the news. “Children, I wanted to have dinner with you tonight to tell you something.

Along with the Quincy Jones musical, Tracey said, she’d been trying to complete several other business deals since her father’s death. But the estate’s insolvency and Tracey’s lack of legal standing prevented her from moving forward. “Altovise won’t cooperate,” Tracey said. “She’s not a good person. You don’t know her like I do. She’s a drunk. ” Tracey said she hired Frank Sinatra’s longtime attorney, Robert Finkelstein, to represent her, and together they devised a plan that would compensate Altovise handsomely.

Sonny noticed the fine appointments throughout the office, the welldressed employees, and the numerous signed photos of celebrity royalty that hung on the walls. Finkelstein was a Hollywood deal-maker whose legendary reputation was enhanced by his representation of Frank Sinatra, and Sonny could feel the power. When they walked into the conference room, they were greeted with a loud welcome. ” Sonny recognized the voice. It was Tracey, and as she rushed to greet Altovise, he was struck by her beauty, which was a potent mix of Puerto Rican, African-American, and Swedish genes.

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