Sammy Davis Jr. – Closest Of Friends (1982)

FrontCover1Sammy Davis Jr. goes Country:

In 1982, Sammy Davis, Jr. made the musical move to Nashville. Perhaps the last place you would expect the diminutive wonder to turn up, but he cut ten songs there for the Applause label and the Closest of Friends album was the result. The songs assembled for Davis to sing come from some of the finest writers the town had to offer (“Oh Lonesome Me” by Don Gibson, “Come Sundown” and “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends” by Kris Kristofferson, “Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)” by Tex Williams and Merle Travis) and while the aging Sammy did what he could vocally, the wooden arrangements and pedestrian playing really bring the album down. The best of the songs, like Sammy’s light bounce through “Hey, Won’t You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song)” and his knowing take on “Smoke Smoke Smoke (That Cigarette)” (which contains the cruelly foreshadowing lyric “I’ve smoked ’em all my life and I ain’t dead yet”) are miles away from his best work and have only the slightest glimmer of what made Davis so spectacular in his prime. Only a true Davis fanatic would ever want to hear these songs. It was one of his last forays into a recording studio and should probably just be forgotten. Unfortunately, it is one of the few Davis sessions that turns up time and time again on cheap reissue labels, often with mis-leading titles and cover shots. (by Tim Sendra)

But:

You normally wouldn’t think of Country music and Sammy Davis Jr going together, but they do! As a long time country fan, I recommend this album. He does justice to the fine selection of songs and actually went on Hee Haw to promote it! Jimmy Capps of the Grand Ole Opry staff band plays guitar along with Billy Sanford. The album was produced by Larry Butler. (by Hank Will)

This is a very sentimental trip … including two songs by the great Kris Kristofferson !

Alternate front+back cover from Venezuela:
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Personnel:
Larry Butler (piano)
James Capps (guitar)
Jerry Carrigan (drums)
Steve Chapman (guitar)
Sammy Davis Jr. (vocals)
Ray Edenton (guitar)
Bob Moore (bass)
Leon Rhodes (bass)
Hargus Robbins (piano)
Billy Sanford (guitar)
Jerry Shook (guitar)
+
Sheldon Kurland Strings
+
background vocals:
James Cason – Don Gant – Diane Fidwell – Bergen White – Lisa Silver – Sheryln Hoffman

BackCover1

Tracklist:
01. What I’ve Got In Mind (O´Dell) 2.49
02. Come Sundown (Kristofferson) 3.24
03. Mention A Mansion (Hupp/Morrison) 2.22
04. You’re Gonna Love Yourself (In The Morning) (Fritts) 3.07
05. Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (That Cigarette) (Travis/Williams) 3.03
06. Oh Lonesome Me (Gibson) 2.24
07. We Could Have Been Closest Of Friends (Pippin/Slade) 3.15
08. Hey Won’t You Play (Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song) (Butler/Moman) 3.22
09. Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends (Kristofferson) 3.26
10. The River’s Too Wide (Morrison) 2.43

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This is another item from the great greygoose record collection.
Thanks a lot !

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