Meet Sammy Davis. Rightfully known as ‘The Sedona Entertainer’… We are always excited to see his show… he is known to many as an amazing singer and performer.
Q: What inspired you to your current career? How has your career developed?
A: I’d say it’s DNA! My grandparents were very involved in church activities, and my grandfather himself had a quartet that would go around each Sunday doing performances. He would sing Gospel music at different churches, and that’s one of my inspirations. I always said, ‘I like to do that someday.’ I think it started through them then just carried over to my parents. I started singing Gospel songs in church, which was the mainstay in my family. Everyone was church orientated and still is. I joined different choirs, and throughout high school, I sang in the boy’s Glee club.
Q: When did you start doing performances?
A: It started during college. I was mainly into athletics, but there were times on weekends with neighborhood friends, we would sing. I grew up in Chicago, home of The Temptations, Sam Cooke, and singers of that caliber. We had a recording studio near a train track. We would hear the harmonies of our voices and the echo sounds of the train going by and thought it was cool.
Q: Did Motown have a significant impact on you?
A: Tremendous impact on me! Because the entertainers show every aspect of their performance. You go and see with your eyes, you listen with your ears, and you have to pick your jaws off the floor a few times because you’re just so excited about their performances. I’m thankful for those days – listening and watching their performances – because they taught me a lot.
Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
A: I first came here in 1989 and came back in 1991. I lived in Phoenix first before moving to Sedona.
Q: What is the appeal of Sedona? Why did you decide to come back here?
A: It was the experience. I was so taken by Sedona’s energy and the sensation of spirit here that I felt that this is where I belong.
Q: The beauty of Sedona is something that many people talk about all the time; what do you feel about our surroundings?
A: Regardless of what anyone says, there’s an energy here. It’s an extraordinary place, and I think it chooses you. Sedona pulled me in from the very beginning. In fact, up to this day, people ask me, ‘What do you love about Sedona?’ I very simply say, ‘The good Lord made the Grand Canyon, correct?’ Well, he lives here in Sedona!
Q: Your band and show performs in Sedona, where else do you take the show?
A: I did an extended stay in Las Vegas. Sometimes I would fly there and drive back. I’ve done shows all over the world and concerts. We play in Iceland for a couple of weeks. I did a month in Alaska, I enjoy jamming in Barcelona, Spain and one of my favorite places to play is in Bermuda. It’s been a blessing to play at these different venues. My son asked me how many shows have I performed; well, I think 1500 shows or more than that.
Q: Once this change in our world will settle back down again, what is an ideal year for you? Do you work a lot in Sedona, or do you travel as well?
A: With my band performing two to four times a month. I enjoy playing locally, and I also like playing in other different venues. But the thing that I love the most is that when I travel, I know that I will be coming back to Sedona.
Q: When family or friends comes to visit Sedona, where do you take them?
A: First of all, I’d take them to Bell Rock, then the vortex areas, and Uptown.
Q: Who is the most exciting person you’ve met here in Sedona?
A: There are quite a few! Terrie Frankel, Shondra Jepperson, and Gary Glenn. So many generous hearts in this community.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: I’d like to go back to Bermuda. I like their custom of respect that young people have for their elders. That enlightened me, and I love the surroundings.
Q: Who is your current favorite group of musicians or bands?
Q: If you could choose anyone with whom would you love to have lunch?
A: I’d say, my mom.
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: Sometimes, with having the entertainment aspect of me, the other side is that I’m pretty shy.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: That I love my fellow man because I firmly believe that we can make a difference within ourselves. The last words that I say after the end of my performance are to “Love one another,” and that’s real.
From the interview with Jonelle Klein.