Sandie Shaw, MBE (born Sandra Ann Goodrich; 26 February 1947) is an English singer. One of the most successful British female singers of the 1960s, in 1967 the song “Puppet on a String” performed by her became the first British entry to win the Eurovision Song Contest. After a long and successful career, Shaw announced her retirement from the music industry in 2013.
Sandra Ann Goodrich was born and brought up in Dagenham, 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 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”.
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. 49 US pop hit for singer Lou Johnson. Shaw’s version rose quickly to No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in the autumn of 1964, and also charted in the United States at No. 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 early the following year.
Sandie 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 barefoot performances endeared her to the public at large.
By 1967 Shaw’s record sales were declining and her manager decided on more of a cabaret appeal. 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 for “Puppet on a String”. Although she disliked the song and thought it was unrepresentative of her material, the song won the contest It gave her a third UK No. 1 single, a record for a female at the time. Globally, the single achieved sales in excess of 4 million, making it the biggest selling winning Eurovision track to date.