E.B. GO Vision Media BBC Interview Playlist of Arthur Silber, Jr., Author of Sammy Davis, Jr.: Me and My Shadow, on Life with Sammy the Entertainment Icon, Plus Short Bio of Arthur Silber, Jr.
To say that Arthur Silber, Jr. knew Sammy Davis, Jr. better than anyone else is not an understatement, nor is it exaggeration designed to inflate their relationship for an ego boost or monetary gain. Brotherly bonds born from shared experiences, like combat vets, enters into a spiritual realm where placing one’s own safety at risk for the other is common and the shared experience can’t be fully explained or comprehended by others. It is not fanciful hyperbole to to say Arthur and Sammy had such a relationship. When Sammy’s neck was on the line, so was Arthur’s; they lived in constant contact for so long they could read each other’s minds and together they braved the racial barriers all over the country, together they experienced the highs and lows expected in the realms of high achievement in chosen profession.
It is the truth because they were practically inseparable for about 25 years, 1949 to 1975, and during that time Sammy went from a young player with the Will Mastin Trio, with his Father Sam, Sr. and Uncle Will, to international superstar in his own right who mastered multiple elements of show biz; from dancing industry.
Below is a recent BBC Interview of Arthur Silber, Jr. that has been broken down in to 16 five-minutes segments and organized into a chronological playlist on Arthur’s Sammy You Tube Channel, built and maintained by E.B. GO Vision Media. It is truly fascinating as he talks about his many adventures with Sammy, many recounted in Sammy Davis, Jr.: Me and My Shadow, during a time when American society and the world changed in ways no one could have predicted.
Sammy Davis, Jr. was an extremely generous and emotionally deep man who, as he told Arthur many times, “just wanted to be treated fairly.” Sammy was a diminutive man with a giant amount of talent, someone who learned his trade on the boards and in the back stages of vaudeville playhouses from the age of three and went on to make show business and American history.
Arthur Silber, Jr. is s True Expert on All Things Sammy Because He was There for the Most Important, Satisfying, Trying and Amazing Times in the Life of Sammy Davis, Jr. Here is Raw Footage from Interview for a BBC Sammy Documentary, The Kid in the Middle
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A Short Bio of Arthur Silber,Jr.
My parents spent all of their lives in show business. My father started out as a song Agents Association for twelve years, Arthur Silber, Sr. managed such stars as Hopalong Cassidy, Martha Raye, Ann Miller, Nat King Cole, Mary Martin, Dorothy Dandridge and her sister Ruby, and Sammy Davis, Jr., just to name a few. On the maternal side, my mother was a world famous dancer who ended her professional dancing career in Seattle, Washington. There, she owned her own dance studio and among her students were Gypsy Rose Lee and her sister. Mother later moved to Hollywood where she met my father and worked in motion pictures for thirty-five years. I was an only child who traveled constantly with my father. When I was fourteen years old, traveling with Dad in Hawaii, I met Sammy Davis, Jr. and we became lifelong friends.
My first big professional break came when I was twenty and Sammy Davis, Jr. hired me as his personal assistant and lighting director, a position I remained in for over thirty-three years. It would be impossible to measure everything I learned from Sammy about show business. He was the consummate professional, a genius at his craft. During that time we became business partners and formed Samart Enterprises, which I still own to this day. Some of the highlights of my years with Sammy were when I staged and produced his portions of three Royal Variety Performances.
The first was for Queen Elizabeth II in London, 1960. Then, in 1961 I staged and produced Sammy’s portion of Princess Grace Rainier Red Cross Gala in Monaco for their Royal Family and, finally, a Royal Variety Performances for the Queen Mother in London, 1961. Over the years I produced and co-produced many of Sammy’s shows including England’s Best TV Show of the year, 1961, Sammy Meets the British, and the following year Sammy Meets the Girls. For eleven years I was company manager, production manager and lighting director for The Lettermen during the height of their popularity.
Since leaving The Lettermen, I was company manager, production manager and lighting designer and director for Vikki Carr for over twenty-seven years. A few of the highlights of my years with Vikki were as production designer and lighting director of an NBC special, A Very Special Evening With Vikki Carr (which I won the IRIS Award in 1979), the UNICEF All Children Show in Vienna, Austria and last, but certainly not least, production design of her shows for Presidents Jerry Ford, Jimmy Carter and a special show for President Reagan.
At the same time I have worked in one or more of these capacities for Bob Hope, Bill Cosby, Charo, Debbie Reynolds, Sammy Davis, Jr., Danny Thomas, and Marco Antonio Muniz (known as the Bing Crosby of Mexico), Mariachi Sol de Mexico, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, Mariachi Cobre, and Mariachi Vargas.