Sammy Davis Jr. was a singer, a dancer, an actor, a comic, and an impressionist. He was a superstar. One of the greatest all-round stage and screen entertainers. Davis was also one of the hardest working men in show business. He worked hard he said because he was a short black one-eyed Jew.
When Davis first started out in vaudeville—working with his father and an uncle—he claimed he never came up against any racism. That happened when he joined the army. He was once beaten up for looking at his white female commanding officer while she was giving him orders. Some lowlife bigots beat him up and wrote “coon” in white paint across his forehead, and “I’m a n*gger” across his chest. They beat Davis until he almost passed out. Then they poured turpentine over him.
Davis was both soldier and entertainer. At night he put on shows for his comrades. The day of his beating, Davis didn’t want to do his act—to “go out there and smile at people who despised me,” as he told Playboy interviewer Alex Haley in 1966.
But I made myself do it anyhow. I was fighting myself so hard to stay out there that the fighting made me do maybe one of the best shows I ever did in my life. And I’m glad it did, because I discovered something. I saw some of those faces out there grudgingly take on different expressions. I don’t mean for a minute that everybody suddenly started loving me—I didn’t want that from them anyway—but they respected me. It taught me that the way for me to fight, better than with my fists, was with my talent.
Davis’ need to win respect may later have made him seem somewhat insincere. When Steve Martin appeared on The Tonight Show, Davis fell off the sofa laughing at his material. Martin thought he must be one helluva comic if his routine was this funny. Until he saw Davis fall off the sofa every time any comic told a joke.
But that’s just small brushwork and not the whole painting.
Davis was a hip, cool cat. He helped make Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin look cool. He made playing Vegas cool—something Elvis never quite managed.
He was into sex, drugs and Satanism long before it was the in-thing to do. Davis went his own way—good or bad—others followed in his wake.
Davis even bucked Hollywood when he left the Democratic Party to support Richard Nixon (who invited Davis and wife to be the first black overnight guests in White House history) It’s fair to say he even had an unacknowledged influence on other American Presidents. Obama’s slogan “Yes we can” runs very close to the title of Davis’ biography Yes I Can. While Davis’ belief that blowjobs aren’t really sex was echoed by President Clinton when he said he not have sex in the Whitehouse.
Sammy Davis Jr.: ‘I Gotta Right to Swing!’
Sammy Davis Jr. loved getting his dick sucked. It was part of his “code of marital fidelity.” Blowjobs were fine, but full intercourse? That would be cheating on his wife. Or at least that’s what he claimed.
When Davis was married to his third and last wife, the actress and dancer Altovise—the couple had an open relationship. Davis played the field but kept to his “code of marital fidelity”—only having girlfriends blow him. Of course, sometimes it went a bit further—but Sammy always convinced himself he wasn’t really being unfaithful.
After a long night performing on stage, Davis liked to have people over to his house to chill. He liked to have couples over so he could swing. He’d drink booze, snort coke, and pair off with his chosen woman for the night. They would go off into Davis’ private cinema where they’d watch porn together and “get it on.” Altovise meanwhile was supposed to get it on with whichever man was left.
One couple who came to the Davis’ house in the early 1970s was Chuck Traynor and his wife Linda Lovelace.
Traynor was a creep. A manipulative bully who pimped his wife out for sex. Lovelace had made a couple of “loops”—short 8mm porn movies—and had suddenly become (in)famous overnight as the star of Deep Throat.
Deep Throat was Davis’ favorite porn movie. One ex-lover Kathy McKee said Davis watched that film about a hundred times. It seemed kind of inevitable that Sammy Davis Jr. and Linda Lovelace would one day hook-up and become lovers.
According to McKee:
When Linda Lovelace became part of our entourage, the main event for Sammy was watching Linda swallow his cock—just as she’d done for the camera while filming Deep Throat.
In her biography Ordeal, Lovelace described her relationship with Davis and how she once used the singer to get revenge on her violent and abusive husband.
The first night Linda went to Davis’ house Chuck told her:
“If Sammy suggests anything—I mean anything—you just go along with it one-hundred percent.”
Chuck was pimping his wife to get into the showbiz circuit. He wanted young pussy for himself.
That first night Chuck kept edging the conversation to having “a scene”—swinging—but Davis passed. The next night, the couples met again but this time Davis took Lovelace into his private cinema leaving his wife with Chuck. It was the start of a relationship between Davis and Lovelace.
At first they spent their time talking. Davis rapping about his favorite songs, playing old records, and discussing where his career was going. He allegedly never asked Lovelace about her past. Instead, he encouraged her to get into show business, do something in Vegas, and get into mainstream movies.
Davis had “an understanding” with Traynor. Whenever he led Lovelace away for the evening, Chuck would say nothing and wouldn’t come looking for them. This was because Chuck hoped Davis would “fix him up with a lot of far-out chicks.”
While Linda was giving Sammy a blowjob, Chuck was having his “scene” with Altovise. But their scene didn’t last long because Altovise “despised Chuck and wanted her husband to find someone else for her.”
According to Lovelace, Altovise wasn’t into swinging but only did it to keep hold of Sammy.
For a time, the two couples spent every night together—even going on holidays at Davis’ expense.
One night, Altovise was out. Linda was on her knees deep-throating Sammy while he watched a porn movie with Chuck.
“I really dig that,” Davis said to Lovelace. “I’d like to know how you do it. When are you going to teach me? When are you going to show me how you do that?”
Sammy apparently “often talked like that.” Linda never knew if he was joking or not. This particular night Sammy looked over at Linda’s husband Chuck sitting just a few feet away, eyes fixed on the screen.
“Hey, you think Chuck would mind?” said Davis in a low voice.
“Mind? No, that’s the kind of thing he’d go for in a big way. But let me set it up for you,” Lovelace quietly replied.
Linda knew Chuck would mind. It was not the kind of thing he would be into. It was, according to Linda, his greatest fear—the very thing he dreaded most.
More of when Linda taught Sammy to deepthroat, after the jump…