Sandy Shaw; A biography by Derek Dodd

                                     

                                      Sandie Shaw’s Biography - Her Early Life and Career - By Derek Dodd


Sandy Shaw was born Sandra Ann Goodrich and was brought up in Dagenham in Essex, England. On leaving school she worked at the nearby Ford Dagenham factory and did some part time modelling before coming second as a singer in a local talent contest. As a prize she appeared at a charity contest in London where her potential was spotted by singer Adam Faith.

 

Faith introduced her to his manager, Eve Taylor, who won her a contract with Pye records in 1964 and gave her the stage name of Sandie Shaw.

 

Taylor teamed Shaw with songwriter Chris Andrews, who wrote her first single “As Long as You’re Happy Baby”, which failed to make the charts. However, for her second single Taylor gave her the Bacharach and David song ”There’s  always something there to remind me” which had been a No 19 US pop hit for the Lou Johnson single version. Shaw’s version rose quickly to No 1 in the UK singles chart in the autumn of 1964, and it also charted in the United States at No 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 early the following year.  ‘’I’d be far better off without you”’’ was issued as the follow up, but DJs preferred its B side "Girl Don’t come’’ also written by Andrews, and the sides were switched. "Girl Don’t Come" reached No3 in the UK and became her biggest US hit reaching No 42. It was followed by further hits in the UK including “I’ll stop at Nothing” “ Long Live Love" her second UK No1 in 1965,and "Message Understood”.

The singles were produced by Taylor Andrews and Shaw herself (though she was never credited), with help from Pye Records arranger  Ken Woodman.

 

Sandie Shaw was a regular on popular British TV programs of the time such as Top of the Pops, Ready steady go, and Thank your Lucky Stars. She was seen as epitomizing the “Swinging Sixties” and her trade mark bare foot performances endured her to the public at large. She also recorded most of her hit singles in Italian, French, German and Spanish boosting her popularity in Europe.


Sandie released several original albums in the 1960s; Love Me, Please Love Me, The Sandie Shaw Supplement and Reviewing the Situation. These albums generally consisted of Andrews-penned songs mixed with cover versions of songs made popular by other musicians.

 

It was decided by the BBC that Sandie Shaw would represent the UK in that years Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. She had reservations as she felt that would destroy her credibility. After performing five songs on the Rolf Harris Show the public voted that the one that should represent the country was the Bill Martin/ Phil Coulter composition of ‘"Puppet on a string". Sandie disliked the song and thought it was unrepresentative of her material. The song however won the contest by a near record margin of votes and made Sandie Shaw the first person to win for the UK.

 

"Puppet on a String" was the third number one single in her contract with Pye which eventually expired in 1972.

She retired from life as a pop singer and began working on other ventures. She played Orphilia in Hamlet and Joan of Arc in Saint Joan,  wrote  children’s books and had a TV special, The Good Old Days, where she invited  Blue mink and Soka Gakkai Buddhism to be guests.

 

Sandie later dueted with Chrissie Hinde of the pretenders on "Anyone Who Had A heart". Following this sandie toured again and did some radio show slots including appearing on the BBC's Desert Island Discs.


The End by Derek Dodd.

 

Note:

This is a piece that Derek chose to research and write while attending a Lifeskills session. He typed it up while in IT, ready for it to be put onto the Jigsaw Website.

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