Sometime in the late 40s, before either man was famous, Frank Sinatra appeared in a theater in New York. After his show he went to Harlem to see the Will Maston Trio led by a young Sammy Davis Jr. Frank was blown away by Sammy’s talent and after the show he asked Sammy to come see his show.
A week goes by. No Sammy. Sinatra went back to Harlem to see the Will Maston Trio again and asked. Sammy why he didn’t show. Sammy said he was there but they wouldn’t let him in. Frank stormed back to the theater, tore up his contract in front of them, and never performed there again. That would be a common theme during the course of their friendship and careers. When Sammy wasn’t allowed to play at the Copacabana, Frank wouldn’t play there either.
When Sammy was refused a Las Vegas hotel room, Frank said, “Give him my room!” After Sammy’s car accident where he lost his eye, it was Sinatra who paid all his medical bills. After 5 decades and 40 years of performing together, a reporter once asked Frank why he was always so charitable to Sammy. Frank responded in three words, “He’s my brother.”