Song Of The Day 5/3/2015: Sandie Shaw – “(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am”

Brit Girls of the '60s: While going through the archives of Pye Records for their special but modestly-received theme week back in February I became enamored by the female pop singers who were hugely popular in the United Kingdom but rarely translated their success to the Americas. There were exceptions like Petula Clark and Dusty Springfield, but by and large they weren’t. Everybody in the US was inhaling their Beatles and Motown straight from the source. Being the sucrose-snorting pop weakling that I am, or can be, I found a lot of these songs attractive and worth investigating with far more effort than I applied to last week’s punk theme, at any rate.

Figured we’d lead off with Sandie Shaw, whose popularity in the UK was about the equal of Clark’s and Springfield’s. Shaw made some great records. She was also known for singing barefoot, apparently such a rarity at the time that it curried scandal from uptight matrons and maybe the orthopedic industry. She had the best hair bob in the business until Dorothy Hamill showed up. Shaw also won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1967 with “Puppet on a String,” a song she despised. She’s rumored as saying, “I hated it from the very first oompah to the final bang on the big bass drum. I was instinctively repelled by its sexist drivel and cuckoo-clock tune.” I concur it’s twee up to here and blatantly abuses a bassoon, or maybe an oboe, in the intro. But it won, handily, despite a nagging sex scandal Shaw endured at the time. Morrissey and Johnny Marr of the Smiths were huge fans and got her to record a version of “Hand In Glove,” which found middling success in the UK. Morrissey was later ticked off because she didn’t buy them dinner. In her defense, it must have been at least a little difficult to find a restaurant that could handle Morrissey’s diet at the time. But still, she could have pulled up some sprouts or something and made a decent salad with an crisp, unassuming vinaigrette.

Here’s Sandie’s version of “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am,” a ’60s pop standard made most famous by Nancy Wilson. Sandie sounds a wee bit out of breath in the first verse with its rushed triplet vocal lines, but we all were at the time.

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