Skip to content

the otto files

where the classics never go out of style

Tag Archives: Sammy Davis Jr.

I wrote yesterday of my first Sinatra concert in April of 1980. In truth, It was the only actual “Sinatra Concert” I ever attended although I did see him perform live one more time about four years later in the summer of 1984. Back in those days, Sammy Davis Jr. used to host a Pro-Am […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Today marks the 90th birthday of the quintessential lounge singer Armando “Buddy” Greco. Greco is one of those guys who I knew very little about when I began my radio show 16 years ago. Originally, my show was “a celebration of the Italian American influence on the Great American Songbook.” Which basically means I was […]

Tags: , , , ,

That ephemeral something called star quality – if there ever was living proof that it’s real, that proof is Julius La Rosa. Watch La Rosa in a nightclub, singing masterfully, magnificently, and you’ll appreciate star quality. It’s the thing that’s missing. Roy Hemming & David Hajdu, Discovering Great Singers of Classic Pop, 1991 That quote […]

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The first thought that comes to mind when I think of both Ella Fitzgerald and Carol Burnett is, “It doesn’t get any better.” These were two women who were at the absolute top of their fields of entertainment. If I want to swing and listen to music that I know will make me happy and […]

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

This coming Sunday, January 24, 2016, I will celebrate 16 years on the air at Jazz (0.1 in Rochester, New York as host of a program called “The Sunday Music Festa.” These days, it’s a weekly party celebrating all the great songwriters, lyricists, arrangers, musicians and vocalists who have made the music of the Great […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As we get ready to celebrate the 100th Birthday of his idol, it’s important to remember that Sammy Davis Jr. would have been 90 years old today. He died┬ámuch too soon at the age of 64 in 1990 but, man, oh man, did he pack a hell of a lot of living into those 64 […]

Tags: , , , ,

One William James Basie was born on this day in Red Bank, New Jersey, in the year 1904. He would go on to become one of the greatest, most influential and swinging-ist cats in the history of American Jazz and Swing music. As a young boy (six or seven years of age), I inherited a […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s hard to believe Steve Allen’s “kid singer” is 80 years old today. Steve Lawrence was one of those performers who seemed perennially young. His voice ALWAYS sounded fabulous and he always seemed to be sincerely happy in his work. And not only was Lawrence a great singer but he was a very gifted comedian. […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

We showed and discussed Norm Macdonald’s emotional farewell to David Letterman last Friday night in a post yesterday but here’s a clip from Norm’s second-to-last appearance with Dave where he makes an important announcement and/or observation. Norm hit it right on the mark for me when he told Dave, “You are my Johnny Carson . […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I just watched a movie on You Tube called “Poor Devil” from 1973 starring Sammy Davis Jr. and Jack Klugman. It was actually a made-for-TV movie which apparently was supposed to be a potential pilot for a TV series. Needless to say, it was never developed into a series. You can watch the movie for […]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,