Archive for June, 2009


Michael Jackson and The Rat Pack


From The Rat Pack Tribute:  Michael Jackson respected Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., and was a big fan of Sammy in particular.  Both Michael and Sammy stood out as singers and dancers and both had started performing on stage as young children. 

Shortly before Sammy’s death in 1990, he was honored with an all-star TV special saluting his 60 years in show business.  Michael was there along with Frank and Dean and many other stars.  Sammy also respected Michael, and used to get a big reaction imitating Michael on stage with a little moonwalking and a trademark MJ gesture or two.

In the cast photo above from Sammy’s TV salute, he’s surrounded by stars including Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Clint Eastwood, Goldie Hawn, Whitney Houston, Richard Pryor, Dionne Warwick and many others.  And standing right beside Sammy is Michael.


Rat Pack Books

Rat Pack Conf.

Much has been written about The Rat Pack, and there’s more coming out all the time.  A couple of good books about the Rat Pack members both individually and collectively would be Rat Pack Confidential:  Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and The Last Great Show Biz Party by Shawn Levy, and The Rat Pack:  Neon Nights With The Kings Of Cool by Lawrence J. Quirk and William Schoell.

The life of Dean Martin is well-detailed in Memories Are Made Of This:  Dean Martin Through His Daughter’s Eyes by Deanna Martin and Wendy Holden.

For Joey Bishop there’s Mouse In The Rat Pack:  The Joey Bishop Story by Michael Seth Starr.  And Peter Lawford’s biography is laid out in Peter Lawford by James Spada.

When it comes to books about Frank Sinatra, there are almost too many to count.  One we like has always been Frank Sinatra My Father by Nancy Sinatra.  It’s a pretty complete biography from the inside with the added bonus of tons of photos and great reference lists of all his movies, albums, awards and milestones.  Another interesting family memoir is My Father’s Daughter by Tina Sinatra and Jeff Coplon.  And of course, there are many, many others of the tell-all variety.

And then there’s Sammy Davis Jr., the only Rat Pack member who told his own story, not just once, but a few times, in Yes I Can:  The Story of Sammy Davis Jr., plus Why Me?:  The Sammy Davis Jr. Story, and even Sammy:  The Autobiography of Sammy Davis Jr., all three by Sammy, with Burt Boyar and Jane Boyar.