The Hit Song Sammy Davis, Jr. Hated



Sammy Davis, Jr. had many hits in his career, including “What Kind of Fool Am I,” “Me and My Shadow,” “I’ve Gotta Be Me,” and “Mr. Bojangles,” but it was the song “The Candy Man” — from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory — that he detested. Record company executive Mike Curb had already recorded the instrumental track, so all Davis had to do was record his vocal. He did it in two takes, but wasn’t happy about it. In his autobiography, Davis wrote about when his manager was trying to convince him to do the song. Davis wrote that he told his manager, “It’s horrible. It’s a timmy-two-shoes, it’s white bread, cute-ums, there’s no romance. Blechhh!” Still, he agreed to do it anyway, and as he was listening to the playback, Davis said, “This record is going straight into the toilet. Not just around the rim, but into the bowl, and it may just pull my whole career down with it.” Needless to say, Davis was completely wrong. The song blew up on easy-listening radio and shot to the top of the music charts.