Bob Bowen -
Page updated May, 2012
GIVEN NAME: Thomas Adrian Sands
BIRTHDAY: August 27, 1937 to Ben and Grace Sands
BIRTHPLACE: Grant Hospital, Chicago
FAMILY: Daughter Jessica, born July 18, 1978
FIRST PROFESSIONAL APPEARANCE: Age 5
FIRST T.V. APPEARANCE: Kraft Theatre - "The Singing Idol",
January 30, 1957 on NBC Tommy sang "Teen Age Crush" which reached the
Top 3 in both Cashbox and Billboard.
FIRST TOUR: 1957
YEARS IN SHOWBIZ: 51
FAVORITE FOODS: Coffee, steak, most anything
HOBBIES: Reading, watching movies
FAVORITE SPORT: Boxing
MUSIC HE ENJOYS: Rock and Roll, Country Western
TOMMY'S THOUGHTS ON:
HIS FANS: He loves them and it's returned by all.
HIS FAMILY: His daughter is the light of his life.
GOALS FOR THE FUTURE: To record again, work in the movies.
Tommy is Scotch-Irish descent.
His father was a pianist and mother a singer with Art Kassel's band - Kassel's in the Air. He
received a guitar when he was 7 and taught himself to play. He attended Greenwood Grade School in
Louisiana. At the age of 8 he went on the air twice weekly on station KWKH, Shreveport. His pay - $2.50
per performance. He also appeared on WBKBTV's Barn Dance in Chicago. He atteneded Lanier Jr. High
School and Lamar High in Houston. Around the year 1952 Tom Parker was his manager. By 1954 he was voted
13th Most Promising Male Vocalist in Cashbox and Western Poll. In 1955 Tommy traveled with Elvis in Houston.
He sang with the Houston-based Freedom label in '51. In Dec. of '56 Tommy auditioned for the Draft Theatre
for the play "The Singing Idol". The play was loosely based on Elvis' life but he couldn't do the play so
Col. Parker recommended Tommy who got the job. This really got Tommy started and he became an overnight
sensation which also got him a 5 year contract with Capitol records. Tommy was married to Nancy Sinatra
from 1960 to 1965.
On the first of January, 1957, Tommy Sands flew from Hollywood to New York to audition for the leading role
in "The Singin' Idol," the dramatization of the life of a popular rock 'n' roll singer. The part had first been
offered to Elvis Presley. But Presley and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, saw no way in which Presley could
accept because of other commitments. Both pitched for Tommy Sands-thier friend from "Louisiana Hayride" days
in Shreveport-for the role. And thus Presley fulfilled a promise he'd made months
before to help Tommy.
And so Tommy Sands-after nearly twelve years of grueling study, singing, guitar playin, acting and beating
his brains out-to perfect himself as an actor-became and overnight sensation. On January 30, he appeared on air
as "The Singin' Idol," in Kraft Television Theater's production.
The show is done. The Southern accent which had troubled Tommy is almost gone. The critics have had
their say, and the fans are still having theirs. And the impact of the performance lingers in every quarter
of the country. Kraft is being bombarded with demands for a repeat of the show. The verdict is indisputable.
"The Singin' Idol" was one of the most successful televisions show in history. Nothing so sensational has been
recorded since Presley's smash appearances on the Berle, Steve Allan and the Ed Sullivan shows.
Because of a certain resemblance to Elvis in the characterization of the "Idol," a great deal of speculation has
popped up as to whether this new discovery will pose a threat to Elvis, or run a close parallel to his
career. The answer to that, according to the best minds in film and TV, is an emphatic NO. Tommy Sands is
and original. He acts, sings, plays and capers in obedience to a style all his own.
His recording of "Teen-age Crush" is one of "the fastest breaking" discs Capitol has had in years. Ken
Nelson, Tommy's Artist's and Repertoire man at Capitol, as it happens, heard Tommy two years ago in Biff
Collie's Houston program "Hoedown Corner." He told Tommy then, "I'll sign you in two years-see me then
and be ready." Tommy brought this prediction to reality when he cut "Crush" a week before doing the Kraft
show. It was released February 1, a day after the TV performance. He is a favorite of the disc jockeys who
welcome him on their show. Peter Potter, emcee of "Juke Box Jury," in Los Angeles on KRCA, had him on the
panel a few weeks ago. Tommy scored solidly with the audience.
In addition to all this, Tommy Sands fan clubs have been springin up all over the country. His national
fan club has its address at P.O. Box 349, North Hollywood, California. Much of the fan mail is from teenagers,
but a fair portion also comes from adults-both men and women. Tommy has asked his clubs to do more than merely plug him
and his record. "Make something out of these get-togethers," he advises. "Have fun, sure. But do something of
service-like working for charity-so that I can be proud of every one of you."
And riding the crest of this tidal wave - what about Grace Sands and her gifted boy? Are they keeping their heads? Are
they still the same sweet people who were equally loved by so many different kinds of people in Greenwood, Shreveport,
Houston, Chicago, Hollywood, New York and other cities, villages and crossroads of this land?
An incident redently occurred, and it offers probably the best answer to these questions. Tommy went
out and bought his first new car. It was a modest, simple Ford convertible.
Several years ago in Shreveport, the great blazing star we call the sun dropped a live spark and it stuck
a little boy. Today, over all of America, a great new sun leaps skyward with its eloquent heart on fire.
(courtesy of Tommy Sands International Fan Club, Spring 2000)
MORE BIO NOTES:
Tommy wrote the title song for his first motion picture "Sing Boy Sing" along with poet and long time
friend Rod McKuen. The movie, co-starring Edmund O'Brien and Nick Adams, was followed by other notable motion
pictures: Babes In Toyland starring as Tom with Annette Funicello and Ray Bolger; The Longest Day portraying several
roles this block-buster had an all star cast which included John Wayne, Richard Burton and Sean Connery; None But the Brave
with Frank Sinatra and Clint Walker; Mardi Gras with Pat Boone; Love In A Goldfish Bowl with Faian; Ensign Pulver with Jack
Nicholson and The Violent Ones with David Caradine.
He has starred in over 150 television MOW's as well as guest starred on innumerable network variety show over the
years. He is no stranger to the top Night Club circuit, headlining at such spots as the Sands and the
Tropicana in Las Vegas as well as every major club in the United States. His concert tours have taken
him around the world embracing Europe, The Far East and Australia. His recent tour included Wales, England,
The Netherlands, Germany and Austria.
TOMMY SANDS FILMOGRAPHY
1. Sing, Boy, Sing 1958
2. Mardi Gras 1958
3. Babes in Toyland 1961
4. Love In A Goldfish Bowl 1961
5. The Longest Day 1962
6. Ensign Pulver 1964
7. None But The Brave 1965
8. The Violent Ones 1967
A NOTE FROM BOB BOWEN (Tommy's page sponsor):
Above is an old class photo that includes Tommy Sands. It was sent to me by a former classmate and Tommy would
like for it to be included on this website.
In the photo, Tommy is the only kid wearing a tie (2nd row, far right).
Mark Cassidy (2nd row, 5th from left) sent in the photo, from La Salle School, Chicago
TOMMY SANDS DISCOGRAPHY
47-5435 - Transfer/Love Pains
47-5510 - Spanish Conquita/ Roses Speak Louder Than
47-5628 - A Dime and a Dollar/Life is so Lonesome
47-5697 - I Know About the Bees/Never Let Me Go
47-5800 - Don't Drop it/A Place for Girls Like You
47-5860 - Hankerin'/Don't you Know I Love You
47-6007 - Kissin' Ain't no Fun/Something's Bound to go Wrong
47-6868 - Don't Drop It/Love Pains
F-3639 - Teenage Crush/Hep De Hootie
F-3690 - Ring A Ding A Ding/My Love Song
F-3723 - Going Steady/Ring My Phone
F-3743 - Let Me Be Loved/Fantastically Foolish
F-3810 - A Swingin' Romance/Man, Like Wow!
F-3867 - Sing Boy Sing/Crazy 'Cause I Love You
F-3953 - Teenage Doll/Hawaiian Rock
F-3985 - Big Date/After the Senior Prom
F-4063 - Blue Ribbon Baby/I Love You Because
F-4160 - I Ain't Gittin' Rid of You/Is it Ever Gonna Happen
F-4231 - Sinner Man/Bring Me Your Love
4259 - I'll Be Seeing You/That's the Way I Am
4316 - You Hold the Future/I Gotta Have You
4366 - Crossroads/That's Love
4405 - The Old Oaken Bucket/These Are The Things You Are
4470 - On and On/Doctor Heartache
4580 - Love in a Goldfish Bowl/I Love My Baby
4611 - Rainbow/Remember Me
4660 - Jimmy's Song/Wrong Side of Love
5535 - Got me a Baby/Wondrous One
T848 - Graduation Day/Graduation Day
T929 - People in Love/That's All I Want From You
Pro351 - Going Steady (4 tracks from Steady Date)
Pro1542 - (4 tracks from Sands at the Sands LP)
CAPITOL Extended Plays
EAP1-848 - Steady Date with Tommy Sands
EAP1-851 - Teenage Crush
EAP1-929 - Sing Boy Sing
EAP1-1081 - Sands Storm
BUENA VISTA Singles
C-803 - The Parent Trap/Let's Get Together w/Annette (compact-33)
F-803 - The Parent Trap/Let's Get Together
10466 - A Young Man's Fancy/Connie
10480 - Cinderella/Only 'Cause I'm Lonely
10539 - Ten Dollars and a Clean White Shirt/Won't You Be My Girl
10591 - Seasons in the Sun/Ain't No Big Thing
55842 - The Statue/Little Rosita
55807 - Love's Funny/One Rose Today, One Rose Tomorrow
66174 - As Long As I'm Traveling/Only One I've Got
66229 - Candy Store Prophet/Second Star to the Left
6623? - I Would Never Do That/---------
5-A007 - Seasons in the Sun/Ain't No Big Thing
Long Play Records
T-848 - A Steady Date with Tommy Sands
T-929 - Sing Boy Sing (soundtrack)
T-1081 - Sands Storm
T-1123 - This Thing Called Love
T-1239 - When I'm Thinking of You w/Nelson Riddle
T-1364 - Sands at the Sands (live)
T-1426 - Dream with Me w/Nelson Riddle
------ - Teenage Rock (various artists)
W881 - The James Dean Story (soundtrack)
SN-4 - What's New (various artists promo)
PRO-444 -I Love Music (various artists promo)
DQ-1318 - The Parent Trap, Summer Magic, The Castaways
(various artists, Disney soundtracks)
3309 - The Parent Trap (soundtrack)
4402 - Babes in Toyland (soundtrack)
BL 754216 - Tommy Sands
Import / Compilations
038EMD85096 - Rock and Roll History Volume III
3001 - Tommy Sands (issued with two different covers)
The Worrying Kind - Bear Family
Steady Date - Collectibles
Tommy Sands -
The Sands Collection 1957-63: Man, like WOW!
Raven Records RVCD-193 - 12 page booklet - 77 minutes
In the current world of "American Idols" and the many teen pop sensations, we often
forget how long this has been going on. Tommy Sands was on the cover of more teen magazine's during
the mid to late fifties than any other teen idol. He had a respectful, clean image and he had
tons of talent to go along with his high public appeal.
Raven Records from Australia brings together 33 tracks from 1957-1963. All of Tommy's hits are
Included 'Teenage Crush' (US #2), 'Goin' Steady', 'Bigger Than Texas' and 'The Worryin' Kind'
and many more. This package includes rare singles and album tracks on CD for the first time.
Some of the many highlights include the show stopper live version of "Sinner Man" from the
"Sands At The Sands". Then we have the very sweet vocals of "My Love Song" and the rocking
on "A Bundle Of Dreams". Very pleased to see the other side of "Teenage Crush", the rare
B-side "Hep Dee Hootie (Cutie Wootie)". They have some of Tommy's self penned songs such
as the title track of the CD "Man, Like Wow!", "Sing Boy Sing", "Your Daddy Wants To Do
Right" and Tommy's coolest single "I Ain't Gettin' Rid Of You" and "Is It Ever Gonna Happen?".
Excellent liner notes by Brian de Courcy and a 12 page color booklet with great photos
of Tommy within that period of time. Tommy wasn't "just another pretty face". He is one of
the most talented singer/actor and stage performers of the 1950's. A total of 77 minutes!
- Johnny Vallis (Rave On Reviews)
See: www.ravenrecords.com.au or
1. TEENAGE CRUSH
3. MY LOVE SONG
4. GOIN' STEADY
5. RING MY PHONE
6. SING BOY SING
7. TEENAGE DOLL
8. BLUE RIBBON BABY
9. THE WORRYIN' KIND
10. BIGGER THAN TEXAS
11. THE OLD OAKEN BUCKET
12. HEP DEE HOOTIE (CUTIE WOOTIE)
13. MAN, LIKE WOW!
14. CAN'T CHANGE MY LOVE
15. CRAZY CAUSE I LOVE YOU
16. SODA-POP POP
17. A BUNDLE OF DREAMS
18. YOUR DADDY WANTS TO DO RIGHT
19. CHICKEN AND THE HAWK
20. LITTLE MAMA
21. OOP SHOOP
22. HEY, MISS FANNIE
23. GONNA GET A GIRL
24. AIN'T GETTING RID OF YOU
25. IS IT EVER GONNA HAPPEN?
26. LET ME BE LOVED
27. SINNER MAN
29. HEARTS OF STONE
30. TWEEDLEE DEE
31. THE WRONG SIDE OF LOVE
32. A YOUNG MAN'S FANCY
33. DOCTOR HEARTACHE
Tommy Sands International Fan Club
President: Fran Wyant
3351 E. 20th Pl.
Lake Station, IN 46405
$10 (US Members Only) $18.00 Elsewhere a year.
It includes 4 newsletters a year & a packet including an
autographed photo, biography, discography, filmography, pin, membership
card & more.
(center) poses with fans Bob Bowen and Mary Ann
at the Opening Night of "Babes In Toyland" at the Grove Theatre in Upland, California on December 7, 2002.
Tommy was invited by the Producers to meet the cast and sign autographs as one of the Stars of the Walt
Disney Movie from the early 60's. Tommy is now working on some of his old songs and will be performing more
this year. He recently appeared twice with Glen Glenn's Band in Hollywood, CA.
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