Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can Book Summary - Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can summary

Sammy Davis, Jr. and Jane and Burt Boyar

The Story of Sammy Davis Jr.

4.8 (30 ratings)
36 mins

Brief summary

"Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can" by Sammy Davis, Jr. and Jane and Burt Boyar is a memoir that chronicles the life of Sammy Davis Jr., from his childhood in vaudeville to his rise as a legendary performer. It explores his struggles with racism and his journey to overcome them.

Table of Contents

    Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can
    Summary of 7 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 7


    Bedtime Biographies are best when listened to. Check out the audio version to get the full experience!

    Sammy Davis, Jr. performed with some of the most legendary entertainers of all time. Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin. Bing Crosby. Nat King Cole.

    Yet nearly everyone who ever attended a Sammy Davis, Jr. show agreed: pound for pound, there was nobody more talented. Sammy Davis combined all the skills of an entertainer into one electrifying package: dancing, singing, comedy, impressions, playing music. In an era of showbusiness legends, he was universally regarded as the most versatile and crowd-pleasing performer around.

    This is especially remarkable when you consider that Sammy Davis was a Black entertainer at a time when Black Americans faced inconceivable discrimination. In most clubs he played at the start of his career, he had to enter through the back door – only white people were allowed through the front. Yet over the course of his lifetime, Sammy Davis fought to change such racist policies.

    By the end of his career, he set the terms, refusing to perform in segregated venues. Clubs had to change their rules if they wanted to profit off his talent. He’d go on to become one of America’s first Black performers to star in Hollywood movies, Broadway musicals, and TV shows. Through his remarkable resolve, he helped integrate American entertainment. But the progress he achieved came at a steep personal cost, and he would struggle with demons throughout his professional life.

    What drove Sammy Davis to keep going? To keep refining his craft and performing at the highest level imaginable? Pull up a chair and fight for a seat near the front, because we’re delving into the life of Sammy Davis, Jr., one of the greatest entertainers ever to grace the stage.

    Want to see all full key ideas from Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can?

    Key ideas in Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can about?

    Narrated by Jeannette Robinson

    Music by Federico Coderoni

    Yes I Can (1965) is the bestselling autobiography of Sammy Davis Jr, viewed as one of the best autobiographies of all time. Written halfway through his life, it tells the story of how Davis battled racism, poverty and discrimination to become a star. Starting with his difficult childhood, it traces his life from his vaudeville days to his time as one of the most famous men in America. 

    Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can Review

    Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can (1965) tells the inspiring life story of Sammy Davis, Jr. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With personal anecdotes and captivating storytelling, it offers a unique glimpse into the life of one of the most talented performers of the 20th century.
    • The book explores themes of resilience and overcoming adversity, making it a source of inspiration for anyone facing challenges in their own life.
    • Through Sammy Davis, Jr.'s perspective, readers gain insights into the entertainment industry and the struggles and triumphs of being a black artist during this era.

    Who should read Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can?

    • Fans of Sammy Davis Jr
    • Anyone who wants to learn more about racism in 20th-century America
    • Fans of vaudeville and Broadway

    About the Author

    Sammy Davis Jr (1925-1990) was a singer, actor, dancer, comedian, and much, much more. He first rose to fame in the 1950s as part of a vaudeville trio with his father. He later became a household name, starring on Broadway, in Las Vegas, in his own TV show, and in hit movies such as Ocean’s 11. He wrote two autobiographies, Yes I Can, and Why Me?

    Burt and Jane Boyor were a husband and wife team who wrote together. They were married from 1954 until Jane’s death in 1997. Burt died in 2018.

    Categories with Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can

    Book summaries like Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can FAQs 

    What is the main message of Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can?

    The main message of Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can is about Sammy Davis Jr.'s inspiring journey to overcome challenges and succeed in the entertainment industry.

    How long does it take to read Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can?

    The reading time for Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can is worth reading as it provides insights into Sammy Davis Jr.'s groundbreaking career and his ability to overcome adversity.

    Who is the author of Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can?

    The authors of Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can are Sammy Davis Jr. and Jane and Burt Boyar.

    What to read after Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Bedtime Biography: Yes I Can, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Bedtime Biography: Me by Elton John
    • Bedtime Biography: Shoot for the Moon by James Donovan
    • Bedtime Biography: The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis
    • Bedtime Biography: Stasiland by Anna Funder
    • Bedtime Biography: Queen of Fashion by Caroline Weber
    • Bedtime Biography: Edison by Edmund Morris
    • Bedtime Biography: Vindication by Lyndall Gordon
    • Don't Overthink It by Anne Bogel
    • Bedtime Biography: Margaret Thatcher by Margaret Thatcher
    • Bedtime Biography: Frida by Hayden Herrera