Tommy Sands first started recorded and releasing records for RCA in 1953. Success eluded him until he appeared on the Kraft Television Theater in January 1957. In the episode entitled The Singin’ Idol he starred as a music idol and sang Teen-Age Crush. The song was released as a single, sold a million copies, and hit #2 on the charts.
A few months later Tommy appeared on another television show and sang Goin’ Steady with a few backup dancers. This time the record only got up to #16.
Tommy was not the first one to record Goin’ Steady. The song was originally written and recorded by Faron Young. Faron had a #2 Country hit with the song in 1952. It was his first charted record, but far from his last: Faron had more than twenty top five Country records over the next thirty years.
Tommy married Nancy Sinatra in 1960 (yes, Frank’s daughter). As happens to many teen idols, his singing career had faded quickly. He focused primarily on acting from that point on.
Tommy’s most successful acting role had to be co-starring with Annette in Disney’s remake of Babes In Toyland in 1961. The original version in 1934 featured comedy duo Laurel and Hardy and was much darker. Numerous guest appearances on an assortment of television shows followed.
Tommy and Nancy divorced in 1965. Tommy’s career stopped completely after the divorce, and some have blamed his ex-father-in-law. It’s more likely his music career was ended by the Beatles and the British invasion than anything else.