Tommy Sands (born August 27, 1937 ) is an American pop music singer and actor.
Born Thomas Adrian Sands into a musical family in Chicago, Illinois, his father was a pianist and his mother a big-band singer. While still young, he moved with his family to Shreveport, Louisiana. Sands began playing the guitar at age seven and within a year had a job performing twice weekly on a local radio station. He was only fifteen when Colonel Tom Parker heard about him and signed him to RCA Records. His initial recordings garnered little in the way of sales but in early 1957 he was given the opportunity to star in an episode of "Kraft Television Theatre". On the show, his song presentation of a tune called "Teenage Crush" went over big with the young audience and, released as a 45 rpm single by Capitol Records, it went to No.3 on the Billboard Hot 100 music charts.
Sands' sudden fame brought an offer to sing at the Academy Awards show and his teen idol looks landed him a motion-picture contract to star in a 1958 musical drama called Sing, Boy, Sing. In 1960, he married Nancy Sinatra and for a time they were the toast of Hollywood. Sands performed in several films including Babes in Toyland in 1961 and The Longest Day in 1962 but both his singing and film career had faded by the 1970s.
He was divorced from Sinatra in 1965 and has a daughter, model Jessica Sands, born in 1977 from another relationship.
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He was divorced from Sinatra in 1965 and has a daughter, model Jessica Sands, born in 1977 from another relationship. Charting b-sides are also listed. Sands performed in several films including Babes in Toyland in 1961 and The Longest Day in 1962 but both his singing and film career had faded by the 1970s. All Sly & The Family Stone singles were released on the Epic label except for "I Ain't Got Nobody", issued on Loadstone. In 1960, he married Nancy Sinatra and for a time they were the toast of Hollywood. All Sly & The Family Stone albums were released on the Epic label. Sands' sudden fame brought an offer to sing at the Academy Awards show and his teen idol looks landed him a motion-picture contract to star in a 1958 musical drama called Sing, Boy, Sing. Sly Stone continued to release his solo albums under the "Sly & The Family Stone" name from 1976 on; for a discography of those releases, see: Sly Stone..
On the show, his song presentation of a tune called "Teenage Crush" went over big with the young audience and, released as a 45 rpm single by Capitol Records, it went to No.3 on the Billboard Hot 100 music charts. One song from the collection, The Roots' "Star," has already been released as a single. His initial recordings garnered little in the way of sales but in early 1957 he was given the opportunity to star in an episode of "Kraft Television Theatre". The project will feature contributions from Beck, The Roots, Lenny Kravitz, Maroon 5, and Floetry, among others, and is to include both cover versions of the band's songs and songs which sample the original recordings. He was only fifteen when Colonel Tom Parker heard about him and signed him to RCA Records. A Sly & The Family Stone tribute album, to be called Sly 2K, is also in the works and due for release in 2005. Sands began playing the guitar at age seven and within a year had a job performing twice weekly on a local radio station. Missing from the lineup were Sly Stone and Larry Graham; Freddie Stone, Rose Stone, Cynthia Robinson, Jerry Martini, and Greg Errico began work on an 16-song album on their own.
While still young, he moved with his family to Shreveport, Louisiana. In 2003, all but two of the members of the original Family Stone reunited to record a new studio album. Born Thomas Adrian Sands into a musical family in Chicago, Illinois, his father was a pianist and his mother a big-band singer. Sly & The Family Stone was awarded the R&B Foundation Pioneer Award in December 2001. Tommy Sands (born August 27, 1937 ) is an American pop music singer and actor. The cover was included on the album Fishbone & the Familyhood Nextperience Present: The Psychotic Friends Nuttwerx, released March 21, 2000. Rose Stone provided guest vocals to Fishbone's 2000 cover of "Everbody is a Star", which also features vocals by No Doubt's Gwen Stefani.
Robinson and Martini joined Graham Central Station when Larry Graham revived it later that same year, and the band toured with Prince, himself an admirer of Sly & The Family Stone. One of the performances reunited four members of the Family Stone: Larry Graham, Rose Stone, Cynthia Robinson, and Jerry Martini. On May 25, 1997, Sindbad's Soul Music Festival was held in Aruba. He accepted his award, gave a quick a speech, and disappeared from public view.
Just as the band took the podium to receive their awards, Sly suddenly appeared, to thunderous applause. The members of the Family Stone were in attendance, but Sly was not. Sly & the Family Stone was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993. Sly Stone, caught up in his numerous drug addictions, disappeared from the limelight, sporadically releasing new music at irregular intervals until a 1987 arrest; after being released he stopped releasing music altogether.
He also collaborated with Funkadelic on The Electric Spanking of War Babies (1981), but was unable to re-jumpstart his career. Sly went on to record four more albums as a solo artist (only High on You (1975) was released under just his name; the other three were released under the "Sly & The Family Stone" name). Live bookings had steadily dropped off since 1970, as promoters were afraid that Sly or one of the bandmembers might miss the gig, refuse to play, or pass out from drug use if they were booked. After a disasterous engagement at the Radio City Music Hall in January 1975, where the band only filled the house to one-eighth of its capacity and had to scrape together money to get home, Freddie Stone, Rusty Allen, Andy Newmark, and Jerry Martini all parted company with Sly Stone. Small Talk was released in 1974 and underperformed commercially, as did its singles "Time For Livin'" and "Loose Booty." By this time, the Sly & The Family Stone fanbase had eroded, and acts like Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire, Kool & The Gang, and James Brown and The JB's eclipsing The Family Stone as important funk artists.
Rosie Stone sings lead on a gospel-styled cover of Doris Day's "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)." Fresh spawned a US Top Twenty hit with the single ""If You Want Me To Stay.". Little Sister's background vocals were featured prominently throughout the album, as was the drum machine and Sly's self-played backing tracks. Like Riot, it featured primarily Sly on lead vocals, although Fresh offered a brighter, more accessible sound than the previous album. The next Sly & The Family Stone album, Fresh, was released in 1973.
Both Rizzo and Martini remained in the band. Jerry Martini inquired to Sly and his managers about monies due him, and saxaphonist Pat Rizzo was hired as a potential replacement for Martini if he ever became suspicious of the business practices for the band again. Larry Graham was forced out of the band and replaced by Rusty Allen; Graham went on to start Graham Central Station, a band in the same vein as Sly & The Family Stone that eventually began to outsell its predecesor. After the release of Riot, more lineup changes took place.
Three tracks--"Family Affair," "(You Caught Me) Smiling," and "Runnin' Away"--managed to be pop-friendly enough to be released as singles. Allegedly, most of the album's instrumentation is peformed by Sly alone, who also enlisted the Family Stone for some instrumental parts and friends such as Billy Preston, Ike Turner, and Bobby Womack for others. "Family Affair" was the lead single from the band's long-awaited fifth album, There's a Riot Goin' On, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard album charts upon its November 1971 release; the album was filled with dark, drug-hazed, and burnt-out lyrics, vocals, and instrumentation. In the fall of 1971, Sly & The Family Stone finally returned with a new hit single, "Family Affair." It became another #1 hit, but "Family Affair" was the polar opposite of what the public was expecting: a somber, dark-sounding record, with Sly singing in a low, calm manner.
Stone Flower released four singles, including two by R&B artist Joe Hicks, and two by Little Sister: "You're The One" and "Somebody's Watching You", a cover of a song from Stand!. The Little Sister version of "Somebody's Watching You" was the first major record to have a rhythm track created with a drum machine. During this interim period, Sly Stone negotiated a production deal with Atlantic Records, resulting in his own imprint, Stone Flower. He was replaced with a succession of drummers until Sly settled upon Andy Newmark in 1973. Bodyguards were hired, including a Mafia member. A rift developed between Sly and the rest of the band, and drummer Greg Errico was the first to leave the band for other ventures in early 1971.
Live appearances on television shows such as The Mike Douglas Show and The Dick Cavett Show went unpredictably. He became erratic and moody, and missed nearly a third of the concerts for Sly & The Family Stone in 1970. The drug abuse also had an effect upon Sly's demeanor and reliability. Music production slowed significantly: between summer 1969 and fall 1971, the only new Sly & The Family Stone material that was released was one 45 RPM single, "Thank You (Fallettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" backed with "Everybody Is A Star." While "Star" was another positive record in the vein of "Everyday People," its flip side featured an angry, bitter Sly & The Family Stone, who declared in unison that they could no longer pretend to be something they weren't (peaceful, loving, and happy) and (dis)respectfully thanked the audience "falltein' me be mice elf agin." "Thank You," which was packaged with "Hot Fun", "Star", and nine more songs in a Greatest Hits album released by Epic in 1970 to appease fan demands, was a precursor of things to come.
Although drug use was not new to Sly or the band, by 1970 Sly Stone spent most of his waking hours high. After moving to the Los Angeles area, Sly and his bandmates began regularly taking a number of illegal drugs, including cocaine and PCP. All of the stress came down upon Sly, who developed ulcers and began taking perscription drugs for his condition. The Black Panther Party demanded that Sly make his music more militant and more reflective of the black power movement, and also demanded that he replace Greg Errico and Jerry Martini with black instrumentalists.
Epic demanded more product. Relationships within band were deteriorating; there was friction in particular between the Stone brothers and Larry Graham. The band's messages of peace and love seemed to fall on deaf ears, as Vietnam protests were met with violent resistance and race riots devastated Black neighborhoods across the nation. With the band's newfound fame and success came a number of problems.
A new non-album single, "Hot Fun In The Summertime," was released the same month and went to #2 on the US pop charts. The band performed their set during the early-morning hours of August 16, 1969; their performance was said to be one of the best shows of the festival. Stand! is considered one of the artistic high-points of the band's career, and its success secured Sly & The Family Stone a gig as one of the performers at the landmark Woodstock Music and Art Festival. The album eventually sold over three million copies, and its title track became another hit for Sly & The Family Stone.
"Everyday People" and its b-side, "Sing a Simple Song" served as the lead singles for the band's fourth album Stand!, which was released on May 3, 1969. Even more pop-friendly than "Dance to The Music" had been, "Everyday People" was a protest against prejudices of all kinds, and popularized the catch phrase "diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks". In late 1968, Sly & The Family Stone released the single "Everyday People", which became the band's first #1 hit. Sly & The Family Stone were also significant influences for Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, The Undisputed Truth, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and Funkadelic, and, in more recent years, Prince, Arrested Development, and OutKast.
Some musicians changed their sound completely to co-opt that of Sly & The Family Stone, most notably producer Norman Whitfield, who took his main act The Temptations into "psychedelic soul" territory starting with "Cloud Nine" in 1968. Larry Graham invented the "slapping" technique of bass guitar playing, which became synonymous with funk music. Rock-styled guitar lines similar to the ones Freddie Stone played began appearing in the music of artists like The Isley Brothers ("It's Your Thing") and Diana Ross & The Supremes ("Love Child"). The smooth, piano-based "Motown sound" was out; "psychedelic soul" was in.
Although "Dance to the Music" was Sly & The Family Stone's only hit single until late 1968, the influences of that single and the Dance to the Music album were felt (and heard) across the music industry. The band's gospel-styled singing endeared them to black audiences, while their rock music elements and wild costuming--including Sly's large Afro and tight leather outfits, Rose's blond wig, and the other memebers' loud psychedelic clothing--caught the attention of mainstream audiences. Caucasians Greg Errico and Jerry Martini were both members of the band at a time when integrated performance bands were virtually unheard of, and females Cynthia Robinson and Rosie Stone played instruments onstage, rather than just providing vocals or serving as window-dressing for the male members. The lyrics for the band's songs were usually pleas for peace, love, and understanding among all people; rallies against vices such as racism, discrimination, and self-hate, which were underscored by the lineup for and onstage appearance of The Family Stone.
Cynthia Robinson would shout ad-libbed vocals to the audience and/or the band; for example, urging everyone to "get on up and 'Dance to the Music'" and demanding that "all the squares go home!". Sly Stone, Freddie Stone, Larrry Graham, and Rosie Stone would trade off on various bars of each verse, a style of vocal arrangement both unusual and revolutionary at that time in popular music. Therefore, the Sly & The Family Stone sound was a melting pot of many different influences, including James Brown proto-funk, Motown pop, Stax soul, Broadway showtunes, and psychedelic rock music. Wah-wah guitars, distorted fuzz basslines, church-styled organ lines, and horn riffs provided the musical backdrop for the vocals of the band's four lead singers. Sly Stone had produced for and performed with both black people and white people during his early career, and he integrated music by The Beatles and other white artists into black radio station KSOL's playlist as a dee-jay.
In September 1968, the band embarked on its first overseas tour, to England, which was cut short after Larry Graham was arrested for possession of marijuana, and because of disagreements with concert promoters. The Dance to the Music album, released in 1968, went on to decent sales, but the follow-up, Life, was not as successful. Sly & The Family Stone began to tour across the country, and were well known for their energetic performances and unique costuming. Davis coerced Sly into writing and recording a record that could be a pop hit, and Sly reluctantly provided "Dance to the Music," which upon its late - 1967 release became the band's first Billboard Top Ten hit.
CBS Records executive Clive Davis soon heard about the band and signed them to their Epic Records label. Their first album, A Whole New Thing, was released in 1967 to dissapointing sales with an underperforming single, "Underdog". The debut single for Sly & the Family Stone was "I Ain't Got Nobody", a major regional hit for Loadstone Records. Sly and Freddie's youngest sister Vet Stone and her friends Mary McCreary and Elva Mouton were Little Sister, the band's background vocalists; and another Stewart sibling, Rosie Stone, would join the band in 1968. At the suggestion of saxophonist Jerry Martini, Sly and Freddie combined their bands, creating Sly & The Family Stone in 1967. Besides both Stewarts/Stones, Robinson, Errico, and Martini, the first lineup of the band also included bassist Larry Graham.
Around the same time, his brother Freddie formed a band called Freddie and the Stone Souls, which included Greg Errico on drums. After working as a successful dee-jay and a record producer in San Francisco, California during the first half of the 1960s, Sylvester Stewart took on the stage name of Sly Stone and formed a band called Sly and The Stoners in 1966, which included Cynthia Robinson on trumpet. After the dissolution of the original Family Stone in 1975, Sly Stone continued to record solo albums and tour under the "Sly & The Family Stone" name. Headed by Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart, and containing a number of his family members and friends, the band was also important for being the first major American rock band to have a multicultural lineup, giving African-Americans, Caucasians, males, and females all important roles in the band's instrumentation.
Active from 1967 until 1975, the band was pivotal in the development of soul, funk and psychedelia. Sly & the Family Stone was an important and influential American rock band from San Francisco, California. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame page on Sly & the Family Stone (http://www.rockhall.com/hof/inductee.asp?id=189). Unofficial Sly & the Family Stone fansite (http://www.slyandthefamilystone.net/).
Freddie Stone's official website (http://www.stonecisum.com). Vet Stone's official Little Sister/Stone Family website (http://www.slyslilsis.com). Official Epic Records Sly & the Family Stone website (http://www.slystonemusic.com/). (038-079377-6).
For the Record: Sly and the Family Stone: An Oral History by Joel Selvin. 1973: "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)," from Fresh, a cover of Doris Day's song from Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much. 1973: "Babies Makin' Babies," from Fresh. 1971: "Thank You For Talkin' To Me, Africa," from There's A Riot Goin' On, an alternate version of "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)".
1969: "Somebody's Watching You," from Stand!, covered by Little Sister in 1971. 1969: "Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey," from Stand!. 1974: "Loose Booty" (US #84). 1974: "Time For Livin'" (US #32).
1973: "Frisky" (US #79). 1973: "If You Want Me To Stay" (US #12). 1972: "(You Caught Me) Smilin'" (US #42). 1972: "Runnin' Away" (US #23).
1971: "Family Affair" (US #1). 1969: "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" (US #1) b/w "Everybody Is A Star" (US #1). 1969: "Hot Fun In The Summertime" (US #2). 1969: "Stand!"' (US #22) b/w "I Want To Take You Higher" (US #60 in 1969, US #38 in 1970).
1968: "Everyday People" (US #1) b/w "Sing A Simple Song" (US #89). 1968: "Life" (US #93) b/w "M'Lady" (US #93). 1967: "Dance To The Music" (US #8). 1967: "Underdog".
1967: "I Ain't Got Nobody". 1974: Small Talk. 1973: Fresh. 1971: There's a Riot Goin' On.
1970: Greatest Hits. 1969: Stand!. 1968: Life. 1968: Dance To The Music.
1967: A Whole New Thing. Billy Preston (1971): electric piano, There's A Riot Goin' On. Ike Turner (1971): guitar, There's A Riot Goin' On. Bobby Womack (1971): guitar, There's A Riot Goin' On.
Pat Rizzo (1972 - 1975): saxophone. Andy Newmark (1973 - 1974): drums. Rusty Allen (1972 - 1975): bass. Elva Mouton.
Mary McCreary. Vet Stone (Vaetta Stewart, Sly's "little sister"). Greg Errico (1967 - 1971): drums. Jerry Martini (1967 - 1975): saxophone.
Cynthia Robinson (1967 - 1975): trumpet, vocal ad-libs. Rosie Stone (Rosemary Stewart) (1968 - 1975): vocals, piano, electric piano. Larry Graham (1967 - 1972): vocals, bass guitar. Freddie Stone (Frederick Stewart) (1967 - 1975): vocals, guitar.
Sly Stone (Sylvester Stewart) (1967 - 1975): vocals, organ, guitar, bass, piano, harmonica, drums, and more.