COOL AS a cucumber and feeling right at home in Glasgow’s Central Hotel, Sammy Davis Junior was having a fine time in the city in May 1963.

The Rat Pack star joked and chatted with photographers and reporters, according to the Evening Times the next day.

“Sipping bourbon and coke on the rocks in the wee sma’ hours after his performance at the Odeon last night, Sammy Davis jun. heaped praise on his Glasgow audience,” said our report.

“'Quite frankly, and it’s not showbiz hogwash, I’ve never seen reactions like it,’ he said. ‘I have just never seen such a warm audience.’”

Rat Pack star Sammy Davis Junior in Glasgow, May 1963. Pic: Herald and Times

Rat Pack star Sammy Davis Junior in Glasgow, May 1963. Pic: Herald and Times

Sammy had almost brought the house down with his own version of I Belong to Glasgow – tartan tammy and all – and he revealed he had actually learned the song three years ago from actor and impresario Al Burnett.

Sammy Davis Jnr

Sammy Davis Jnr

“I sing it sometimes over in the States and they sure love it,’”he told the waiting press pack.

Sammy also had a few things to say about recent events in Birmingham, Alabama, where Martin Luther King and others were leading anti-segregation and anti-discrimination movements standing up for the rights of African American citizens.

“Martin Luther King is one of my dearest friends,” said Sammy.

“I am not down there in Alabama being beaten or jailed but just as it is his fate, so it is my fate.”

Sammy told the reporters that people of colour were ‘on the move’ and tired of ‘putting up with a submissive attitude’, adding that it was time for them to ‘receive human dignity,’ adding: “And it will be won some day. We cannot exist any other way.”

It had been a last minute rush for the star, who was in Glasgow for one night only. He had missed his train north from Leeds the previous day and was still in his hotel room in the English town at 2pm on the day of his Glasgow show.

“He will catch the afternoon train which arrives in Glasgow at 7.05pm,” a hotel spokesperson told the Evening Times, a little frostily.

“That will give him plenty of time to get to the theatre and change before he is due on stage,” said the manager of the Odeon. “The first performance does not syary intol 6.40pm and Sammy will not be going on until much later.”

In an interview in the same newspaper, Sammy had told the reporter he was growing weary of the constant touring and living out of a suitcase, expressing a desire to settle down with his actor wife Maj Britt and their children Tracey and Mark.

“I’m tired of being like a commercial traveller, I’m going to have a home,” he said.

READ MORE: The Glasgow boy and the Greenock Blitz - Harry's memories of night town was bombed

Sammy Davis Jr, often billed as the ‘greatest living entertainer in the world’ was born in New York, the son of a dancer and a vaudeville star.

He could dance, sing and act, play instruments and do stand up comedy, and he became world famous as part of the Rat Pack with, among others, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and Peter Lawford.

Three years before his sensational performances at the Odeon in Glasgow, he had starred alongside Martin et al in Ocean’s Eleven.

He died of throat cancer at the age of 64 in 1990.