BiographyBorn into a musical family in Chicago, 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 achieved 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 Joe Allison composition 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 record 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, The Longest Day in 1962, and Ensign Pulver in 1964, 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.
Sands' pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.