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For a . . . Er, for a little illustration of Sammy Davis.
I will see if I can imitate him just a bit.
Sammy Davis’ Ragtime Style
That’s a stomp.
Well, I don’t know the name of this tune. It’s . . . I only remembered a little bit of it. Of course, it’s been years since I’ve seen Sammy and . . .
Is that a ragtime tune?
Yeah, that’s considered ragtime. That was one of his styles though. Most everybody had a different style. And among ‘em we had, er, no doubt, according to what I can understand from throughout, throughout the country, Tony Jackson always frequented this place. And Tony was considered among all who knew him, the greatest single-hand entertainer in the world. His memory being something like nobody’s ever heard in the music world. There’s no tune that would ever come up from any opera, from any show of any kind, or anything that was wrote on paper that Tony couldn’t play by memory.
One of Tony’s great tunes that he wrote some years ago, about the year of nineteen-thirteen or fourteen, was “Pretty Baby.” I guess we all remember “Pretty Baby” all right. It was a million dollar hit in less than a year. I’ll demonstrate a little bit of it.
Pretty Baby . . .
Oh, boy, when I’d, I’d do that.
He’d know I was coming in when he’d hear me do that, you see? And then he’d sing it.
You can talk about your jelly-rolls,
But none of them compare.
Pretty baby o’ mine,
Pretty baby of mine.
Then among, er . . . Er, he would be among the great favourites. He was no doubt the outstanding favourite in the whole city of New Orleans. I have never known any pianist to come from any section of the world that would leave New Orleans victorious. We had so many different styles, that whenever you came into New Orleans — it wouldn’t make any difference if you just came from Paris, or any part of . . . England, Europe, or any place — whatever your tunes were over there, they were the same tunes in New Orleans. Because the boys always played every type of tune, and especially Tony. He played all the high-class numbers, same as the low. He was the outstanding favourite, no doubt in the city of New Orleans, by both white and black.
Was he coloured, too?
He was very coloured. He was real dark, and he wasn’t a bit good looking. But he’s . . . had a beautiful disposition.