Listen to Looch: Sammy Davis Jr, 'I've Gotta Be Me'

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Mary Lucia talks about a PBS American Masters documentary that explores the life and work of legendary entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. (Mary Mathis | MPR)

If you ever want to go down the most amazing rabbit hole of documentaries, check out PBS's American Masters series. Every one I've watched is incredible, but the last one I watched that I'm recommending for you is the one about Sammy Davis Jr. It's called "I've Gotta Be Me," and it explores the entirety of his career. The director is Sam Pollard.

Sammy Davis Jr. was a truly gifted entertainer whose career paralleled the major flashpoints of America in the 20th century, from the Great Depression through the 1980s. His life was also complex. Davis strove to achieve the American Dream in a time of racial prejudice and changing politics. He worked his entire life in the business of show, and he worked tirelessly to stay relevant, even as he often found himself caught between white and black America.

American Masters: Sammy Davis Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me is available to PBS members through the PBS app and on pbs.org (The Current is not affiliated with PBS), and it is also available on Amazon and on YouTube.

Official Trailer

External Links

American Masters - Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me - official site

Sammy Davis Jr. - official site

3 Photos

  • AMERICAN MASTERS : Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me
    Director Sam Pollard of 'Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me' from American Masters on PBS. (LaMont Hamilton)
  • AMERICAN MASTERS : Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me
    Sammy Davis, Jr. with camera in a scene from the documentary 'Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me.' (Courtesy of The Estate of Altovise Davis)
  • AMERICAN MASTERS : Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me
    Sammy Davis, Jr. backstage photo from the documentary 'Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me.' (Courtesy of The Estate of Altovise Davis)