Throwback: Sammy Davis Jr.-Baretta’s Theme (Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow)

Sammy Davis Jr. recorded “Baretta’s Theme (Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow)” in 1975. Baretta was a detective series that ran on CBS from 1975 to 1978. Davis was going through a transition in his career, having recently signed a contract with 20th Century Records. It was a new era in music, and Davis was dealing with ageism in the music industry and trying to find his place.  Jim Gilstrap sang on the initial recording, but the studio told songwriter Morgan Ames they couldn’t have a Black singer sing the theme to a white show. Davis’s version debuted during the show’s second season, which was a success. 

Davis’s “Baretta’s Theme” became a hit in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Belgium, inspiring Davis to record more television themes. Morgan Ames and Dave Grusin wrote the song, which was one of the most expressive TV show songs of the ’70s.  Davis’s Broadway background did not inhibit his ability to sing funk, soul, and disco, all three genres heavily embedded in the tune. The Baretta theme and Davis’s covers of other television show songs were included on The Song And Dance Man album, which was released in 1976 to foreign markets but not in the United States. Deadline revealed that Hulu will no longer pick up the Davis limited series from Lee Daniels starring Elijah Kelley, which is currently being shopped to other media companies. 


Lee Daniels, Erika Alexander & More Attend Theatre Leadership Project Celebration

TTLP Founder and Fellows

The Theatre Leadership Project was created during the pandemic to make changes in the theatre world by installing BIPOC leadership in the industry. The group had its first in-person event Monday, October 24th at the Brooklyn Chop House in New York City’s Times Square. Actress Erika Alexander and film producer Lee Daniels were amongst a group of attendees that included  Fellows; Founders; Advisory Council members, including Aalithya Stevens and Olivier Sultan; funders Darren Johnston, Dessie Moynihan and Robert E. Wankel; and Warren Adams and Orin Wolf from TTLP partners Black Theatre Coalition (BTC) and The Prince Fellowship Director. 

Barbara Broccoli, Alecia Parker, Patrick Daly and Travis LeMont Ballenger established TTLP in 2020 and they have raised more than $1 million to support their fellows and placed six in Broadway general management firms for training in general management and company management. Fellows have worked on Broadway shows including To Kill A Mockingbird, Kinky Boots, Macbeth and Some Like It Hot

“The work of building a more welcoming, inclusive and fair industry doesn’t happen alone. We are in need of community to sustain the change we seek to make, so we are fortunate to be doing this work hand in hand with partners who are dedicated to long term change,” said TTLP Program Manager Leah Harris. “We are proud of the work our fellows are accomplishing and are eager to continue following and supporting their success.” 

TTLP is currently raising money for the addition of a stage management program. For more information check out their official website



1776’s Liz Mikel
Erika Alexander and producing partner Ben Arnon
Lee Daniels

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Will Stevie Wonder give up his American citizenship when he moves to Ghana?