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Sandie Shaw

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Sandie Shaw
Shaw in 1967
Shaw in 1967
Background information
Birth nameSandra Ann Goodrich
Born (1947-02-26) 26 February 1947 (age 77)
Dagenham, Essex, England
Years active1964–2013

Sandra Ann Goodrich MBE (born 26 February 1947), known by her stage name Sandie Shaw, is a retired English pop singer. One of the most successful British female singers of the 1960s, she had three UK number one singles with "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" (1964), "Long Live Love" (1965) and "Puppet on a String" (1967). With the latter, she became the first British entry to win the Eurovision Song Contest. She returned to the UK Top 40, for the first time in 15 years, with her 1984 cover of the Smiths song "Hand in Glove". Shaw retired from the music industry in 2013.[1]



Early life and career


Sandra Ann Goodrich was born and brought up in Dagenham, then in Essex, England.[2] She attended Robert Clack Technical School in Becontree Heath, Dagenham.[citation needed] 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 concert in London, where her potential was spotted by singer Adam Faith. He 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'.[citation needed]

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.[3] 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. 49 US pop hit for singer Lou Johnson.[4][5]: 85  Shaw's version rose to No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in the autumn of 1964,[6] and also charted in the United States at No. 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 early the following year.[4]

"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 No. 3 in the UK and became her biggest US hit, reaching No. 42.[7]: 387  It was followed by further hits in the UK including "I'll Stop at Nothing", "Long Live Love", her second UK No. 1 in 1965, and "Message Understood".[6][5]: 92–93  The singles were produced by Taylor, Andrews and Shaw herself (though she was never credited), with help from Pye Records arranger Ken Woodman.[citation needed] Another potential follow-up, Les Reed and Gordon Mills's "It's Not Unusual," was originally written for Shaw but never recorded after the singer on the demo, a then-unknown Tom Jones, impressed Shaw so much with his powerful interpretation of the song that she encouraged Jones to release the song himself; it became Jones's breakout hit.[8][5]: 85 

Shaw was a regular on popular British TV programmes of the time such as Top of the Pops, Ready Steady Go! and Thank Your Lucky Stars. She was seen as epitomising the "swinging Sixties", and her trademark of performing barefoot endeared her to the public at large.[9][10] She also recorded most of her hit singles in Italian, French, German and Spanish boosting her popularity in Europe.[11] Shaw also released several original albums in the 1960s: Sandie (1965); Me (1965); Puppet on a String (1967); Love Me, Please Love Me (1967); The Sandie Shaw Supplement (1968) and Reviewing the Situation (1969). These albums generally consisted of Andrews-penned songs mixed with cover versions of songs made popular by other musicians.

Sandie Shaw arrives in Finland with her manager Eve Taylor in 1967.

By 1967 Shaw's record sales were declining and her manager decided she should move more towards cabaret.[12] She was invited by the BBC to represent the UK in that year's Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna. She had reservations as she felt it would destroy her credibility, but performed five songs on The Rolf Harris Show, with the public voting that the one that should represent the country was the Bill Martin/Phil Coulter composition "Puppet on a String". Although she disliked the song and thought it was unrepresentative of her material, the song won the contest by a near-record margin of votes,[13] and made Shaw the first person to win the contest for the UK.[6] It gave her a third UK No. 1 single, a record for a female at the time.[5]: 85 

"Puppet on a String" also became an international hit (though not in the US) and the largest-selling single of the year in Germany, qualifying for a gold disc for one million plus sales in the UK and Europe.[3] Globally, the single achieved sales in excess of 4 million, making it the biggest selling winning Eurovision track to date.[14] Some estimates suggest this makes the track the biggest selling single by a British female artist of all time.[15] Her Eurovision success almost did not happen; the BBC wanted to drop her because she had been the "other woman" in a divorce case.[16]

Fashion had become another of Shaw's trademarks, and in 1968 she began the Sandie Shaw fashion label, selling her own brand of clothing and shoes and jewellery. In the same year she hosted her own TV show, The Sandie Shaw Supplement, and issued an LP of the same title. Shaw was to have made her film debut in Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter, but she walked out of the production before filming began.[17]: 63  Her last UK Top 10 hit (her eighth in total) came in the form of 1969's "Monsieur Dupont," originally sung by German artist Manuela with German lyrics.[6]

At the end of 1969, the single "Heaven Knows I'm Missing Him Now" was released, which would become the inspiration for a hit by the Smiths 15 years later. Shaw also produced her own album, Reviewing the Situation, which contained versions of songs by less mainstream artists such as Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones and made Shaw the first known artist to cover a Led Zeppelin song. Shaw ended 1969 by appearing on the BBC's highly rated review of the '60s music scene Pop Go The Sixties, performing "There's Always Something There To Remind Me" and the German version of "Puppet on a String", "Wiedehopf Im Mai", live on the show broadcast on BBC1, 31 December 1969.[citation needed]

1970 to present


Although she began writing songs, her contract with Pye expired in 1972. She retired from life as a pop singer and began working on other ventures, including co-writing a full-length rock musical, songwriting, acting in stage productions (she played Ophelia in Hamlet and Joan of Arc in Saint Joan) and writing children's books. In 1972 she further demonstrated her versatility as an artist appearing on BBC Television's long-running music hall programme, The Good Old Days. In 1973, Shaw was one of eight artists each given their own TV special in the BBC1 series Music My Way, where her guests included Blue Mink.[18] By her own choice, Shaw left the music business and took work in a central London restaurant as a waitress,[17]: 103  but in 1977, she released two singles on the CBS label and the following year began a lifelong commitment to Sōka Gakkai Buddhism.

Her second husband, Nik Powell, introduced her to BEF. She recorded a version of "Anyone Who Had a Heart" for their Music of Quality And Distinction album on the Virgin label,[7]: 387  which brought her back into the public eye. Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders invited Shaw to perform a duet rendition of "Girl Don't Come" at a Pretenders performance, and the two women began a long-term friendship. The following year Shaw wrote and recorded an album, Choose Life, to publicise the World Peace Exposition in London in March 1983. Later in the year, a new phase in her career began after she received a letter from "two incurable Sandie Shaw fans" – singer Morrissey and lead guitarist Johnny Marr of the Smiths – telling her that "The Sandie Shaw legend cannot be over yet – there is more to be done." Shaw's husband was a friend of Geoff Travis of Rough Trade Records, the label to which the Smiths were signed, and she agreed to record some of their songs.[7]: 387 

In April 1984, her version of "Hand in Glove" (the Smiths' first single) was released and peaked just inside the UK Top 30.[6] She recorded a new version of her first hit "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" for the film Letter to Brezhnev and then released two singles on the Polydor label.[7]: 91  1986 saw her embark on her first university tour in almost 20 years with a band made up largely of members of the JoBoxers,[17]: 73  followed in 1988 by the album Hello Angel, the name inspired by a postcard from Morrissey. Shaw embarked on two more successful university tours and made appearances at Gay pride and Peace festivals.[citation needed]

Sandie Shaw appeared at the Sanremo Music Festival 1990, singing "Deep Joy", the English version to Milva's song "Sono Felice". The 1990s saw the release of many compilation albums of Shaw's material on various minor labels, as well as reissues of some of her original albums. Shaw's autobiography, The World at My Feet, was published in 1991, and the following year she began studying at Oxford and the University of London and qualified as a psychotherapist in 1994. During that time, she recorded new versions of some of her 1960s songs for the album Nothing Less Than Brilliant, released in 1994. It was also around this time that Shaw divorced Powell and met her third husband, Tony Bedford. Concentrating on a new career as a psychotherapist, Shaw opened the Arts Clinic in 1997 with her husband, to provide psychological healthcare and creative development to those in the creative industries.[7]: 387  The clinic is now styled Barefoot Therapy: The Arts Clinic and continues to provide psychological support for those in the fields of entertainment, media and sports.[19] In 1998 she was invited to join the Royal Society of Musicians as an Honorary Professor of Music.

Shaw also embarked on a successful legal battle to establish ownership of her entire recording catalogue and began working with contemporary acts and producers, reworking much of her 1960s and 1980s material. In 2003, Shaw licensed her recording catalogue worldwide to EMI, continued to develop her Arts Clinic and began executive coaching and mentoring. Meanwhile, EMI released compilations of her French and Italian recordings, and the following year released similar compilations in Spanish and German. Newly remastered versions of Reviewing the Situation and Hello Angel also were issued with bonus tracks, and toward the end of the year a 4-CD box set entitled Nothing Comes Easy was released. Also in 2003, actress Ashley Williams portrayed Shaw on an episode of the American television series American Dreams, performing "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" on American Bandstand.

During this decade, she reneged on previous declarations of hatred for the Eurovision Song Contest and announced that she was proud of her Eurovision past on the BBC show Making Your Mind Up. She also briefly sat in for Brian Matthew on his long-running BBC Radio 2 Saturday morning show Sounds of the 60s in December 2006. On 26 February 2007, in honour of her 60th birthday, Shaw released a new version of "Puppet on a String" on her website. The re-tooled version, called "Puppet's Got a Brand New String," had a complete overhaul in sound and vocals under the supervision of her friend Howard Jones and mixer Andy Gray. The schlager style of the song was replaced with a calmer melody.[citation needed]

In April 2010, Shaw appeared on the UK ITV television programme Loose Women and revealed that she was returning to recording and would be singing the theme song to the British film, Made in Dagenham. She also took the opportunity to criticise the Eurovision Song Contest, saying that it was bad when she did it, but had now got even worse.[20]

In August 2010, she appeared at Vintage, an upmarket festival on the Goodwood estate in West Sussex, as a special guest of Wayne Hemingway (Red or Dead) who organised the event. As well as hosting her own main stage set, with numerous female guest singers, she also performed cameos on other stages, including singing "Downtown" with composer Tony Hatch and an orchestra in the cabaret tent.[21][22]

Shaw in 2016

On Boxing Day 2010, she appeared on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. Her choices included "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" by the Shangri-Las, "Barefootin'" by Georgie Fame and "Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles.[23]

She was Jools Holland's special guest on his 2011 Tour.[24] On New Year's Eve in 2011 Shaw performed on BBC Two's Hootenanny backed by Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.[25]

In August 2012 she was a guest, alongside singers Petula Clark, Helen Shapiro and Jackie Trent, and producer and manager Vicki Wickham, on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Reunion.[26]

Shaw was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to music.[27]

Personal life


On 6 March 1968, Shaw married fashion designer Jeff Banks at the Greenwich Register Office in London.[28]: 182  Their daughter Gracie was born in February 1971.[28]: 223  The marriage to Banks ended in 1978. In 1982, she married Nik Powell, co-founder of the Virgin Group and chairman of the European Film Academy. They had two children together before divorcing in 1995. She then married her third husband, the psychologist Tony Bedford.[29]

In August 2007, Shaw revealed that she had had corrective surgery on her feet, which she described as "ugly"; the surgery meant she was unable to walk until October 2007.[10]

Political views


In April 2012, Shaw joined an Amnesty International campaign to end human rights abuses in Azerbaijan, host country of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, after the journalist Khadija Ismayilova was blackmailed and sex taped. Shaw stated: "That anyone would stoop so low in an attempt to silence an independent journalist is sickening. The people behind this appalling blackmail and smear campaign must be brought to justice. And the persecution of independent journalists in Azerbaijan must stop."[30]

In August 2014, in the lead-up to the Scottish independence referendum that was to take place in September that year, Shaw was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom.[31]

In April 2016 she spoke out in opposition to the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, calling it "retrogressive" and warned of the risk of dividing Europe.[32]



See also



  1. ^ Lachno, James (10 April 2013). "Sandie Shaw has retired from music". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Sandie Shaw (MBE) - Dagenham's Eurovision Superstar". East End Women's Museum. 13 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins. p. 229. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955–2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research Inc. pp. 365, 634. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
  5. ^ a b c d Rice, Jonathan; Rice, Tim; Gambaccini, Paul; Read, Mike (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, UK: Guinness Superlatives. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  6. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 495. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ a b c d e Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-85112-072-5.
  8. ^ Bonfante, Jordan (18 September 1970). "The Ladies' Men of Music". Life. Vol. 69, no. 120. London: Time. p. 54. ISSN 0024-3019.
  9. ^ "Barefoot Principles". sandieshaw.com. 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  10. ^ a b "Foot surgery for pop singer Shaw". BBC News. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  11. ^ "Sandie Shaw's French recordings". Ready steady girls!. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  12. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Biography Sandie Shaw". allmusic.com. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  13. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy (2007). The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official History. Carlton Books. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3.
  14. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy (2015). The Eurovision Song Contest: The Official Celebration. Carlton Books. ISBN 978-1780976389.
  15. ^ Kelly, Mike. Wot Pop: 50 Years of Hits 1952-2002 - A-Z of Hitmakers Plus the UK's Top 5000 Singles. Southgate Publishers 30 September 2002. ISBN 978-1857411409
  16. ^ Nikkhah, Roya (25 December 2010). "Sandie Shaw's love scandal that almost cost Britain its first Eurovision victory". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022.
  17. ^ a b c Shaw, Sandie (1991). The World at My Feet: A Personal Adventure. London: Harper Collins. ISBN 000215921X.
  18. ^ "Music My Way - BBC One London - 8 August 1973 - BBC Genome". Genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  19. ^ "Sandie Shaw: Barefoot". Sandieshaw.com. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  20. ^ "Sandie Shaw". Loose Women. April 2010. ITV. Archived from the original on 20 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Sandie Shaw » Goodwood!". www.sandieshaw.com. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  22. ^ Brown, Mark (25 February 2010). "Vintage festival promises more glamour than Glastonbury". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  23. ^ Kirsty, Young (26 December 2010). "Sandie Shaw". Desert Island Discs. BBC. Radio 4.
  24. ^ "Jools Holland - Official Web Site - Tour Dates". joolsholland.com. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  25. ^ "BBC Two - Jools' Annual Hootenanny, Jools' 19th Annual Hootenanny - 2011". BBC. Retrieved 15 January 2023.
  26. ^ Sue, MacGregor (19 August 2012). "60s Girl Singers". The Reunion. BBC. Radio 4.
  27. ^ "No. 61962". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 June 2017. p. B22.
  28. ^ a b Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. CN 5585.
  29. ^ Needham, Lucy (21 November 2020). "Sandie Shaw forgives husband for 'losing her fortune and leaving her in caravan'". mirror. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  30. ^ "Eurovision: Sandie Shaw calls on Azerbaijan to stop pulling the strings of the nation's media" (Press release). Amnesty International UK. 2 April 2012.
  31. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories". The Guardian. 7 August 2014. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  32. ^ "Terry Wogan 'totally spoiled' Eurovision, says contest producer". The Guardian. 16 April 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Preceded by United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by