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Formed in Eire in 1967, the Sands featured vocalist Tony Kenny, backed by a regular line-up of Murty Quinn (trombone), Clem Quinn (lead guitar), Martin Phelan (saxophone) and Tommy O’Rourke (trumpet). The latter four had previously achieved considerable fame on the showband circuit as lead players in the Miami Showband. Having effectively replaced Dickie Rock with Tony Kenny, they lost no time in re-establishing their name on the Irish dancehall circuit. Highly professional with a strong, dance-orientated repertoire, they briefly latched on to the US bubblegum music craze by covering such hits as the Ohio Express’ ‘Yummy Yummy Yummy’ and the 1910 Fruitgum Company’s ‘Simon Says’. Like the Freshmen, however, they were noted for their vocal skills and among the songs they covered was a solid version of the Beach Boys’ ‘Help Me Rhonda’. A respectable run of Irish hits, including ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ and ‘Lend A Helpin’ Hand’, coincided with packed dancehalls, until they fell victim to the showband decline of the early 70s.

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