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 in Buddhism.
the end of the decade she had joined the Royal Society of Musicians
and became an Honorary Professor of Music.
In the 21st century Sandie continues to record and her vast number of recordings have appeared on a considerable amount of compilations, which is good news for the singer as she succeeded in winning a legal battle to establish ownership of her entire recording catalogue. During the Sixties in particular, she was noted for performing in her bare feet, but in August 2007 she underwent corrective surgery on what she regarded as her ‘ugly feet’. She was to say "I have always wanted beautiful feet. My husband says that when I was being created, the design team did a great job until they got down to my ankles".