Sands in 1969
July 18, 1946 |
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Evie Sands (born July 18, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter and musician.
Sands' music career spans more than 50 years. She began her career as a teenager in the mid-1960s, after a rocky start, she eventually found chart success in 1969, before retiring from performing in 1979 to concentrate on writing and production. She experienced a fashionable, UK-led surge in cult popularity beginning in the 1990s and returned to live performance in mid-1998. Sands continues to write and perform.
Evie Sands was born in Brooklyn, New York, into a musical family. Her mother was a singer, and Sands grew up listening to artists like Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John and The Beatles. She was inspired by these artists to learn keyboard and guitar and to develop her own ability as a singer and songwriter. She cut her first singles by her mid-teens: "The Roll / My Dog" (ABC 10458/1963), "Danny Boy" "I Love You So" /"I Was Moved". (Gold 215/ 1964).
In 1965 Sands signed to the Blue Cat label of Red Bird; she toured with Red Bird star act the Shangri-Las and began a lasting collaboration with the producer/composers Chip Taylor and Al Gorgoni with the release of the single "Take Me For a Little While" (written by Trade Martin). Prior to its release, a test pressing of Sands' recording was stolen by a Chicago-based record promoter, who took it to established Chess recording artist Jackie Ross, who was coming off the major pop/soul hit "Selfish One". Ross and her producers loved the song, and recorded, pressed and released the record within 48 hours, beating Sands' version to the street by a week. Backed by the marketing and promotional muscle of Chess, and with Ross' name attached, this version received the lion's share of airplay. The subsequent legal struggle set back Sands' career before it had had a chance to get started. By the time Chess withdrew the Ross single from the marketplace, Sands' version only broke through in the few cities (like Los Angeles) that had stayed 'on the fence', waiting to see which version to play. Ross was unaware of the duplicity involved, and left Chess shortly afterwards.
Sands' follow-up single, "I Can't Let Go", was lost amidst the post "Take Me" chaos, leaving Brit invaders the Hollies clear to score a hit cover in the spring of 1966. That same year, Sands debuted on Cameo-Parkway and continued the pattern of songs introduced by Sands becoming successful for other artists. In 1967, Sands' latest single, the Chip Taylor-penned "Angel of the Morning", got caught up in label's business problems. Despite the single being one of the most-requested radio songs wherever played, and the initial 10,000 copies selling out, the label's pending bankruptcy aborted the record's potential success; a few months later, the unknown Merrilee Rush scored a Top Ten single with the song. Sands' last single release on Cameo-Parkway was "Billy Sunshine" in January 1968, the tracking reaching Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart before Cameo's demise.
In 1969 Sands finally scored with the A&M single "Any Way That You Want Me", a Chip Taylor composition previously recorded by both the American Breed and the Troggs in 1966. A No. 1 hit in Birmingham, Alabama, Sands' "Any Way That You Want Me" also reached the Top Ten or better in Columbus, Ohio, Houston, Texas, San Diego, California, and a number of other cities; it reached No. 53 Billboard Hot 100, tying Don Ho's "Tiny Bubbles" for longevity among 1960s singles failing to reach that chart's top 50 (at 17 weeks), and eventual sales are estimated at 500,000 units.
Sands' debut album, also named Any Way That You Want Me, was released on A&M in 1970, several months after the single had peaked. Evie made her recorded debut as a songwriter on the album with "It's This I Am" - covered years later by Beck and Beth Orton, respectively.
A Sands album to be produced by Val Garay for Buddah was announced in March 1971 but did not come to fruition. Instead, the 1975 release Estate of Mind on the Capitol Haven label ended Sands' five-year absence from recording. Produced by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, the album marked Sands' continuing as a songwriter, also collaborating with Richard Germinaro and veteran songwriter Ben Weisman. Two tracks from the album, Lambert and Potter's "You Brought The Woman Out Of Me" and the Sands-Weisman-Germinaro collaboration "I Love Makin' Love To You", both approached major hit status. They wound up peaking at No. 50. Sands would see the latter included on the ButterFly album by Barbra Streisand. Several other Sands songs from the "Estate of Mind" album were also covered by a number of artists, including Dionne Warwick, Dobie Gray, Dusty Springfield, Frankie Valli, Gladys Knight, Arthur Prysock, The Manhattans, Cher/Gregg Allman, Jose Feliciano and Phyllis Hyman.
After a final 1976 single release on Haven, a remake of "The Way You Do the Things You Do", Sands next release was on RCA. The company issued the album Suspended Animation, produced by Sands and Michael Stewart in the spring of 1979, though Sands had actually begun working with co-producer Michael Stewart in May 1977. The album's musicians included Toto members David Hungate, Steve Lukather and Greg Phillinganes, and also Lee Ritenour and Buzz Feiten. The vocalists backing Sands included Toto frontman Bobby Kimball, Bill Champlin of Chicago and, on the track "Lady of the Night," Dusty Springfield. Despite its prestigious personnel, Suspended Animation didn't make a real chart impact for its single releases. As with her previous album, a few of the songs were covered by other artists, including Helen Reddy, Linda Clfford, Phyllis Hyman, June Pointer, The Weather Girls and Shirley Bassey. Karen Carpenter recorded two Sands' songs for her solo album, but they remained unreleased.
After the release of this album, Sands retired in 1979 from performing, but continued to work as a songwriter and producer.
In 1982, Sands co-produced (with Leslie Ann Jones) the Holly Near album "Speed Of Light." The basic band consisted of Adrienne Torf-keyboards, Carrie Barton-bass, Cam Davis-drums and Ray Obiedo- electric and acoustic guitars. Additional musicians and singers included, Sands-electric guitar, acoustic guitar and backing vocals, Sheila E.-percussion, Robben Ford-electric guitar, Vicki Randle and Linda Tillery-backing vocals. The album was recorded and mixed in San Francisco, California at The Automatt.
In late 1996, Sands went to see Chip Taylor perform at a club gig and he invited her onstage to perform with him. Despite not having kept actively in touch through the previous years, the experience was so successful that the two re-ignited their collaboration, along with Al Gorgoni, resulting in the critically acclaimed Women In Prison LP, which was released in 1999 (and again in 2000) on Taylor's Train Wreck records. A more rootsy project than the blue-eyed soul of her late 1960s-1970s output, the album consisted of various Sands-Taylor-Gorgoni originals, including a duet with Lucinda Williams on the track "Cool Blues Story". Several tracks fared well on UK/Euro indie charts. After the reconnection with Taylor, Sands returned to performing in 1998. Sands and Taylor did some shows in the UK and Europe when the album was released, including London, Glasgow, Brussels and several dates in Holland.
Sands' earlier albums Any Way... and Estate... were reissued in September 2005 and June 2006 respectively, on Creation co-founder Joe Foster's Rev-Ola imprint in the United Kingdom. Sands went on to perform her own solo material as well as performing as the lead guitar player in eclectic Los Angeles based group, Adam Marsland's Chaos Band. She appeared on that band's 2007 live CD Long Promised Road: Songs of Dennis and Carl Wilson, on which she sang several lead vocals, including the first-ever released recording of Dennis Wilson's "Wouldn't It Be Nice to Live Again." She also did extensive vocal and guitar work on Marsland's 2009 double CD Go West, including lead vocals on one track. A new album, "Queen Of Diamonds / Jack Of Hearts" - Billy Vera & Evie Sands - singing new songs of Chip Taylor, was released September 9, 2014, on Taylor's Train Wreck label.
Sands married Richard Germinaro 14 June 1971 in Los Angeles, but later divorced.
- A&M SP-4239 - Any Way That You Want Me - 1970
- Haven ST-9202 - Estate of Mind - 1974
- RCA Victor AFL1-2943 - Suspended Animation - 1979
- Train Wreck Records TW-009 - Women in Prison - 1999
- Train Wreck Records TW049 - Queen Of Diamonds / Jack Of Hearts - Billy Vera & Evie Sands - 2014
- ABC 10458 - The Roll/My Dog – 1963
- Gold 215 - Danny Boy, I Love You So/I Was Moved – 1964
- Blue Cat 118 - Take Me For A Little While/Run Home To Your Mama - 1965 (US #114)
- Blue Cat 122 - I Can't Let Go / Uptight – 1965
- Cameo 413 - Picture Me Gone/It Makes Me Laugh - 1966
- Cameo 436 - The Love Of A Boy / We Know Better – 1966
- Cameo 475 - Angel Of The Morning / Dear John – 1967
- Cameo 2002 - Billy Sunshine / It Makes Me Laugh - 1967 (US #133)
- A&M 0980 - Until It's Time For You To Go / Shadow Of The Evening – 1968
- A&M 1026 - One Fine Summer Morning / I'll Hold Out My Hand – 1969
- A&M 1090 - Any Way That You Want Me / I'll Never Be Alone Again – 1969 - Billboard Hot 100 #53 (Aug.) CAN #40 (RPM Magazine)
- A&M 1157 - Maybe Tomorrow / Crazy Annie – 1969
- A&M 1175 - But You Know I Love You / Maybe Tomorrow – 1970 - Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 #110, Billboard Adult Contemporary #30 (March)
- A&M 1192 - It's This I Am, I Find / Take Me For A Little While – 1970
- Haven 7010 - You Brought The Woman Out Of Me/Early Morning Sunshine - 1974 - Billboard Hot 100 #50 (March 1975)
- Haven 7013 - I Love Makin' Love To You/One Thing On My Mind - 1974 - Billboard Hot 100 #50 (August 1975)
- Haven 7020 - Yesterday Can't Hurt Me/(Am I) Crazy Cause I Believe - 1975 - Billboard Adult Contemporary #36 (Dec.)
- Haven 806 - The Way You Do The Things You Do/Love In The Afternoon - 1976
- RCA 11549 - Keep My Love Light Burnin' / I Can't Wait For You - 1979
- RCA 11653 - You Sho' Look Good To Me / Brain Damage – 1979
- Evie Sands, retrieved 13 April 2016
- Ackney, Jason, Evie Sands, AllMusic, retrieved 13 April 2016
- "Cameo". Soulfulkindamusic.net. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- Tim Warden. "ARSA Evie Sands: Any Way That You Want Me". Las-solanas.com. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- Evie Sands Awards, retrieved 13 April 2016
- Evie Sands Discography, retrieved 13 April 2016
- Gaar, Gillian G (2002). She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock and Roll. p. 142. ISBN 9781580050784.
- "Train Wreck Records". Retrieved 2014-09-14.
- Kalina, Mike (9 April 1975), The Music Makers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, retrieved 13 April 2016