He attended the Guildhall School of Music on a scholarship (a rare distinction at an institution that would take almost any partly qualified candidate for the tuition money), and from there was hired to play in a restaurant orchestra, also serving as the sub-leader. He moved up to directing another restaurant orchestra, and finally was hired as music director of the orchestra at the Grand Hotel, Eastbourne. The three years he spent in that post were essential to his subsequent career -- he'd gotten the Eastbourne position just as radio was taking off, and his performances (and name) were heard regularly on the BBC across that time. By the end of three years, he had moved up to the Park Lane Hotel in London, leading one of the city's most visible orchestras -- audiences delighted in the performances he led of waltzes, polkas, foxtrots, and other dance pieces and light classical works, spiced with the occasional sweet-band style light jazz of the period. Sharing the spotlight with the dance ensemble Alfredo & His Band at the hotel, he was a fixture on the radio, and also became familiar to listeners on records from the end of the 1920s onward. He took his orchestra on tour and made appearances with a trio that he formed out of the group's string players.
Later in his career, starting in 1943, Sandler led the Palm Court Orchestra, which he'd organized at the request of the BBC. It was with this orchestra that he inaugurated the BBC's Grand Hotel broadcasts, which became one of the most popular programs on the radio network during the postwar era. He also made the jump into motion pictures in 1945, when Sandler and his orchestra appeared in the British costume musical Waltz Time, which also included a guest appearance by Richard Tauber. Alas, Sandler was to see little benefit from this film, or know much of the relative peace of the postwar world. Perhaps it was a result of his background in poverty, and the years it took him to achieve financial stability, but he had a tendency to overwork from an early age, and by the time he'd reached his forties, he was showing signs of dangerous fatigue. He passed away on August 29, 1948, at age 42. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi