Ann Goodrich was born in Dagenham on 26th February 1947. Although
she had the opportunity of attending Art College, she opted for working
in the local Ford car factory instead. At the age of 17 she’d come
second in a talent contest which led to a place on a concert bill
with Adam Faith. After the show she visited Faith’s dressing room
where she sang ‘Everybody Loves A Lover’ and Faith was so impressed
he put her in contact with his manager Eve Taylor. Taylor changed
her name to Sandie Shaw and, within two weeks, had arranged a recording
contract with Pye Records.
Her first single ‘As Long As You’re Happy Baby’ was penned by songwriter
Chris Andrews, who was to write several other number for her, but
it was her second release, ‘There’s Always Something There To Remind
Me’, a cover of a Bacharach and David song, which took her to the
No.1 spot in the British charts, a position she held for three weeks.
She also topped the charts with ‘Long Live Love’ and her other British
hits included ‘Girl Don’t Come’, ‘I’ll Stop At Nothing’, ‘Message
Understood’, ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Nothing Comes Easy’. Although her highest
American chart position was only No.42 with ‘Girl Don’t Come’, she
was internationally popular in Europe and South America, also recording
most of her hit singles in French, Italian, Spanish and German for
the Continental market.
It was problems with work permits which prevented her from promoting
herself in America. In addition to appearing on all the major pop
TV shows such as ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’, ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’, ‘Top
of the Pops', ‘A Whole Scene Going’, ‘Cilla’ and ‘This Is Tom Jones’,
Sandie had her own six-part TV series ‘The Sandie Shaw Supplement’
in 1968. She is probably best remembered for her 1967 appearance in
the Eurovision Song Contest, which she won with the song ‘Puppet On
a String’, penned by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter, becoming the first
British singer to win the contest.
This became her third British chart topper, was a worldwide smash
hit and the biggest selling single in Germany that year. Despite it's
huge success, Sandie wasn’t enamoured of the number, but was later
to admit, “It is a song which has been the source of much grief, hilarity,
circumspection and, I have to admit, financial reward for many years".
Sandie was to marry fashion designer Jeff Banks in 1968 and the couple
had a daughter, Gracie, in 1971. In the meantime she continued recording,
although her last Top Ten entry was ‘Monsieur Dupont’ in 1969. Later
that same year she recorded ‘Heaven Knows I’m Missing Him Now'.
The Seventies was a decade which saw the breakdown of her marriage,
the loss of her recording contract and a situation in which she was
virtually penniless and had to work as a waitress to support herself
and her daughter. Despite her problems, resulting in a loss of confidence,
she had, during the decade, appeared as a stage actress in ‘Hamlet’
and ‘Saint Joan’, co-wrote a musical and begun a lifelong interest
The Eighties became a more positive decade for her and she married
Nic Powell, co-founder of the Virgin Group, and she gave birth to
another daughter, Annie. She then began recording again, appeared
with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders in which the two duetted on
‘Girl Don’t Come’ and recorded another album. In 1983 she received
a letter from ‘two incurable Sandie Shaw fans’ who wrote: ‘The Sandie
Shaw legend cannot be over yet – there is more to be done'.
The letter came from Morrissey and Johnny Marr of The Smiths, who
had originally been inspired by Sandie’s recording of ‘Heaven Knows
I’m Missing You Now’, resulting in Morrissey writing one of their
biggest hits ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now'.