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The Bootleg Files: The Strollin’ ’20s

BOOTLEG FILES 856: “The Strollin’ 20s” (1966 all-star television special).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO:
None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: There is most likely a rights clearance issue.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Not likely.

Black entertainers have been part of the American television experience since the medium’s beginning, with no less a figure than the legendary Ethel Waters starring in an eponymous special in 1939 when television was still mostly experimental and extremely limited in its reach. Once television became more prominent in American living rooms, Hazel Scott and Billy Daniels briefly had their own programs, while in the mid-1950s NBC’s decision to have Nat King Cole host his own variety show created unexpected controversy when no national sponsor was willing to back the program. Harry Belafonte headlined a 1959 special that was sponsored by Revlon, but he rejected further productions backed by the company when he was ordered not to integrate his song and dance ensemble.
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Sammy Davis Jr. on the Big Screen

Sammy Davis Jr. was a larger-than-life personality who was a welcome presence on Broadway, in Las Vegas and on television for many years. His film work was somewhat spotty, yet he proved himself as both a musical star in “Porgy and Bess” and “Sweet Charity” and in serious dramatic roles in “Anna Lucasta” and “A Man Called Adam.” In this episode of “The Online Movie Show,” social media bon vivant Anthony “Kingfish” Vitamia returns to the podcast to celebrate Sammy’s distinctive place on the big screen.
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The Bootleg Files: “Parade” Starring Sammy Davis Jr.

BOOTLEG FILES 751: “‘Parade’ Starring Sammy Davis Jr.” (episode of a 1959 Canadian television variety series).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: Multiple issues prevent its release in the U.S.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE:
Not likely.

During the 1950s, Sammy Davis Jr. was a ubiquitous presence on American television. Whether working solo or with his father and uncle as the Will Mastin Trio, Davis’ singing, dancing and comedy made him a scene-stealer on nearly every variety program.
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