Sammy Davis, Jr. - Closest of Friends

Sammy Davis, Jr. - Closest of Friends
Release Date:
Show Tunes, Traditional Pop, Vocal Pop
Closest of Friends

In 1982, Sammy Davis, Jr. made the musical move to Nashville. Perhaps the last place you would expect the diminutive wonder to turn up, but he cut ten songs there for the Applause label and the Closest of Friends album was the result. The songs assembled for Davis to sing come from some of the finest writers the town had to offer ("Oh Lonesome Me" by Don Gibson, "Come Sundown" and "Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends" by Kris Kristofferson, "Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)" by Tex Williams and Merle Travis) and while the aging Sammy did what he could vocally, the wooden arrangements and pedestrian playing really bring the album down. The best of the songs, like Sammy's light bounce through "Hey, Won't You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song)" and his knowing take on "Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)" (which contains the cruelly foreshadowing lyric "I've smoked 'em all my life and I ain't dead yet") are miles away from his best work and have only the slightest glimmer of what made Davis so spectacular in his prime. Only a true Davis fanatic would ever want to hear these songs. It was one of his last forays into a recording studio and should probably just be forgotten. Unfortunately, it is one of the few Davis sessions that turns up time and time again on cheap reissue labels, often with mis-leading titles and cover shots.

We Could Have Been the Closest of Friends / Steve Pippin / Johnny SlateSammy Davis, Jr.2:49
Come Sundown / Kris KristoffersonSammy Davis, Jr.3:25
Mention a Mansion / Debbie Hupp / Bob MorrisonSammy Davis, Jr.2:23
You're Gonna Love Yourself (In the Morning) / Donnie FrittsSammy Davis, Jr.3:17
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) / Merle Travis / Tex WilliamsSammy Davis, Jr.3:08
Oh, Lonesome Me / Don GibsonSammy Davis, Jr.2:26
What I've Got in Mind / Kenny O'DellSammy Davis, Jr.3:19
Hey Won't You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song) / Larry Butler / Chips MomanSammy Davis, Jr.3:25
Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends / Kris KristoffersonSammy Davis, Jr.3:29
The River's Too Wide / Bob MorrisonSammy Davis, Jr.2:45