Actor Robert Davi remembers Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
LOS ANGELES, CA -- On this distinguished day of commemoration, Americans in many communities nationwide awoke to the melodious strokes of church bells, marched with purpose in well-attended peace parades, waved the American flag with honor and respect and turned on their car's headlights at noon. Some even plan to march at night, holding candles of hope.
Families representing a unification of cultural pluralism have placed the Southland's museums on their itineraries to celebrate the birth of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a civil rights leader who became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for his non-violent fight to end racial segregation and discrimination.
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 -- a stark moment in world history that actor and recording artist Robert Davi said created an indelible mark in his heart as he recognizes what would have been King's 83rd birthday [January 15] in blended solitude of both reflection and sober prudence.
"When I was a teenager and watching King's funeral on TV, I was deeply affected," said Davi, an Italian-American. "His body was on a rickety cart being pulled by two mules as a sea of people followed. My heart broke, feeling that there in the coffin lay someone who represented the totality of the human struggle and we were going to either pull it apart or we would pull it together."
Over the past four decades since Davi's spiritual and political enlightenment, he has put forth extensive efforts to help lift the spirits of struggling Americans and stimulate the world's varying degrees of consciousness through song. His new album, "Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance" is aimed at doing just that.
Davi's CD is a tribute to the late Frank Sinatra, Davi's mentor who, in 1961, headlined a show at New York's Carnegie Hall that benefited King and the civil rights movement King led. Sinatra advanced to become a key figure in the desegregation of Nevada hotels and casinos in the late 1960s.
Sinatra and his label mates were determined not to patronize those facilities in Nevada that refused back then to allow African-American singers and musicians to perform live. Sinatra and the Rat Pack also turned their backs on those places that chose to turn away African-American patrons.
"As I reflect today, I think while we have traveled far, there is much more to be done," said Davi. "We must find a way to pull this thing together. Perhaps, that's what MLK Day should develop into. This day of recognition should have a more significant impact than people having another day off. Let's make it a time when we strip away all our differences for a day and join hands as Americans, no matter what externals may separate us."
Those who made it successfully through the 20th century have been able to witness firsthand several major advancements of consequence, including bringing full civil rights and equality under the protection of the law to all American citizens.
As for Davi -- the actor known for his unforgettable roles in such movies as "Die Hard," and "Licence to Kill" and starring in "The Profiler" television series -- is headlining an all new show at The Venetian in Las Vegas, NV, on February 23, 24 and 25.
Some of the tunes Davi will perform live to audiences consisting of a colorful melting pot of America include "I've Got The World On A String" and, appropriately, "Best Is Yet To Come."