Our blog buddy over at the DINO LOUNGE tips us to a new review of the book, Deconstructing Sammy: Music, Money, Madness, and the Mob, by Matt Birkbeck (Amistad/HarperCollins, 280 pages, $25.95).
Eighteen years after legendary entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. succumbed to throat cancer at age 64, his estate is in tatters, burdened by debt and infighting among family members and business associates. Despite recording hundreds of songs, starring in dozens of movies and TV shows, and giving countless live performances, his posthumous earning power is dwarfed by the likes of Elvis Presley and fellow Rat Packer Frank Sinatra.
Attorney Albert "Sonny" Murray Jr. was hired by Davis's widow to resolve the staggering $7 million IRS tax debt and restore the legacy of one of the 20th century's greatest showmen. His efforts stretched out over seven years, and are chronicled in "Deconstructing Sammy: Music, Money, Madness, and the Mob," a book by journalist and author Matt Birkbeck that reveals Murray as a man of stubborn tenacity — and Davis as one of extraordinary complexity.
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