A Classic Rat Pack Photo

It’s one of the most widely seen images of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., and it’s been reproduced as an art poster and even embellished by artists with colors and additional imagery.

Here’s the where, when and why of the photograph.  It was January 27th, 1961, and Frank, Sammy and Dean were at Carnegie Hall in New York for a benefit performance in honor of  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sammy was instrumental in getting the Rat Pack involved in the event, which poet Maya Angelou helped organize.  In this famous photo, the Rat Pack members are seen backstage at the historic concert setting.  Today, in addition to seeing the original, you’ll sometimes see this photo re-created by Rat Pack Impersonators to promote a Rat Pack Tribute Show.

Also entertaining at that Carnegie Hall fundraiser were  Tony Bennett and comedians Nipsey Russell and Jan Murray.  In fact, there’s another version of the photo that’s rarely seen, which shows Jan Murray actually seated next to Dean.


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