44 years ago today - Sandie Shaw registers United Kingdom's first win

44 years ago today - Sandie Shaw registers United Kingdom's first win
Sandie Shaw, winner of the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom with Puppet On A String

Continuing our look back at significant anniversary dates in the calendar of Europe's Favourite TV Show, today we reflect on the 44th anniversary of the United Kingdom's first ever victory in 1967 with Sandie Shaw's barefoot performance of Puppet On A String scoring one of the most comprehensive victories of all time.

Following the Udo Jurgens victory for Austria in 1966, Vienna had the honour of hosting the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest in the Großer Festsaal der Wiener Hofburg. Erika Vaal was the host and 17 countries participated, all vying for top spot.

1967 Facts & Figures

  • The number of participants went down from 18 to 17 as Denmark chose to withdraw from the contest. This was the start of what would turn out to be an 12 year exile for the Danes before returnign in 1978.
  • The contest had a very glamorous setting: the stage included three revolving mirrors and a staircase entrance in the middle of the stage.
  • The juries underwent a change as well, as half of the jurors in every national jury had to be less than 30 years old. The jury system was each juror gave their favourite song 1 vote. Each country had 10 jurors.
  • The United Kingdom scored more than double the points of second placed Ireland in what was the most comprehensive victory to date back in 1967.
  • A future Eurovision Song Contest winner finished in 4th place in 1967. Vicky Leandros represented Luxembourg with L'Amour Est Bleu but would go on to win the 1972 contest with Apres Toi.
  • Fredi from Finland, who finished 12th in 1967 would also return in 1976, this time together with his friends with immortal Pump Pump!.

Sandie Shaw's career post 1967

Although she notoriously claimed to dislike Puppet On A String, the song and thought it was unrepresentative of her material, the song gave Sandie Shaw a third UK number 1 single, a record for a female at the time. Puppet on a String also became a worldwide hit 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. She also turned her hand to fashion, and in 1968 began the Sandie Shaw fashion label, selling her own brand of clothing and shoes. In the same year she hosted her own TV show, The Sandie Shaw Supplement, and issued an album of the same title.

In the early 1970's Sandie 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 and writing and painting children's books.

1980's and 1990's

In 1983, 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!."

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 .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.

For the full details of all particpants, song titles and the full scoreboard statistics, check out the 1967 history pages here.

There are 15 comments

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  • Posted on 13 April 2011 at 15:46
    Here in Australia, there's a huge affection for Eurovision, and I'll be hosting my 15th consecutive Eurovision party in my back yard in Sydney. Looks like 3 of the 'big 4' have a good chance this year.. loving the UK, German and French entries, but Espana's entry's not so hot.. but here's hoping Dusseldorf '11 produces a classic like Vienna '67 did all those years ago when barefoot, blind-as-a-bat, 20 year old Sandie knocked it out of the ballpark and got this 52 y/o ex-patriate British Australian hooked on Europe (and Oz!)'s favourite show.

    Cheers! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 April 2011 at 15:46
    'Puppet on a String' was my first pop single, and I remember blowing all my holiday pocket money on playing it (..and the brilliant 'B' side 'Tell the Boys'..) in jukeboxes in campsites all around France that summer on my first 'overseas' camping holiday. Perhaps some of today's EVSC fans might have to google the word 'jukebox'! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 13 April 2011 at 15:45
    G'day from Sydney..!

    Sandie Shaw winning the 1967 Eurovision was both seminal moment in Eurovision history, and huge in my life too.. I was 8 at the time, and I can still remember it vividly, and Sandie returning to London as a conquering hero! I was staying with my grandparents in Scotland at the time, and they let me stay up in my pyjamas and watch it.. it was so exciting, and turned me into an instant and lifelong Eurovision fan. report to the moderator
  • Posted on 10 April 2011 at 14:46
    I love this song and of course I love the UK, greetings from Spain =) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 9 April 2011 at 15:07
    After Anne Marie David, this song is my second all time winner............. :))) report to the moderator
  • Posted on 9 April 2011 at 10:04
    Sorry, but "If I could choose" was better. http://youtu.be/SChHFAr5xag report to the moderator
  • Posted on 9 April 2011 at 00:47
    I like this song very much, even if i was born in the year of its publishing. "Puppet On A String" was so unlike the German Schlager so that it seems to me revolutionary for that time. We need more "barefoot" singers and songs in these days... report to the moderator
  • Posted on 8 April 2011 at 21:46
    i am sorry, i have never liked the song or the performance, i know it is a classic, but i do not like it report to the moderator
  • Posted on 8 April 2011 at 20:32
    Makes me proud ! :)
    Hopefully we the United Kingdom will get our 6th win this year ! :D report to the moderator
  • Posted on 8 April 2011 at 18:49
    A great song, and not just Eurovision-wise!
    A classic pop song from the country that "invinted" it. One of my all-time favourites actually!
    Catchy, cool and great, what else do you need? report to the moderator
  • Posted on 8 April 2011 at 17:43
    How could us Brits ever forgot this, our first ever Eurovision win! report to the moderator
  • Posted on 8 April 2011 at 16:10
    Iiiiiiiiiiii wonder if one day that, you'll say that, you care.....me encanta! ;D report to the moderator
  • Posted on 8 April 2011 at 15:48
  • Posted on 8 April 2011 at 10:53
    The good old days. :) report to the moderator