Time Warp, 1965: Sammy Davis Jr. Keeps Scranton On His Busy Schedule

April 18, 2018 GMT

1965 to 1973: Three times a legendary entertainer charmed Northeast Pennsylvania.

Over eight years, Rat Pack member Sammy Davis Jr. made a trio of visits to the area, starting with a show held April 25, 1965, at Scranton’s Catholic Youth Center.

Originally set for March 7, 1965, Davis’ first visit was rescheduled because of a throat infection that also kept him from performing on Broadway in the musical “Golden Boy.” Local promoter Max Kearson later announced the show would go on the next month. The Buddy Club and Sociology Club of University of Scranton sponsored the performance.

The week of his show in Scranton, Davis also filled in for Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show” on April 19 and appeared on “Hulabaloo” on April 20 in addition to performing in “Golden Boy.” The April 1966 issue of Ebony magazine detailed Davis’ busy lifestyle, noting that in 1965, he appeared on Broadway, filmed the movie “A Man Called Adam,” launched a variety show, and made numerous personal appearances and concert performances.

“Sammy keeps up his terrific pace because of his will to succeed,” his executive secretary, Shirley Rhodes, told Ebony.

Davis made a second appearance at Catholic Youth Center on May 2, 1967, in a visit sponsored by Keystone Junior College. This visit was the last stop in Davis’ 30-day nationwide college tour. Following the tour’s completion, Davis headed overseas to appear in “Golden Boy” at the London Palladium.

He made his third visit to Northeast Pennsylvania in 1973, this time at Pocono State Fair in Long Pond. He performed before an estimated crowd of 15,000 on July 28. Other acts that performed during the fair included Bob Hope, the Jackson Five, Mac Davis and Helen Reddy.

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