If not for a brief obituary in the weekly Vancouver Courier, Sandi Shore might have died a completely forgotten woman.
The Vancouver singer (who was actually born as Sandra Loranger and died as Sandra Wilson) was a familiar figure on the stages of the lower mainland clubs throughout the 1950s and 1960s. After winning a talent contest for local radio station CKNW when she was just thirteen years old, Shore found herself booked - chaperoned by her mother, naturally - at places like the Cave, Isy's, the Arctic Club and the Orpheum Theatre, opening for the likes of the Mills Brothers, the Four Lads, Mitzi Gaynor and, of course, local big band leader Dal Richards.
By the sixties, with tastes changing rapidly, Shore hooked up with Gaiety Records honcho Don Grashey, whose fledgling venture was sort of spinning its wheels after releasing eleven straight records by Ontario singer Jerry Palmer...and no one else! It was Grashey who would help mould the tiny redhead into a Canuck version of Petula Clark with a couple of singles in 1966 - 'I'll Know Better (Next Time)' and 'Welcome to the Fold' - that still get the occasional play by northern soul spinners across the ocean in Britain.
But it was Shore's final single that turned out to be her best. 'Like a Madness', a cover of an obscure Cameo b-side by the similarly unknown singer Jerri Michaels and issued on the tiny Fort Williams (ON)-based C.M.I. label, was a perfect amalgam of Pet Clark and Sandi Shaw, a buoyant slab of anglo-soul that curiously seems to have troubled no charts at the time. Equally cool is the fact the song was penned by two women, Rose McCoy and Helen Miller, at a time when the industry liked its ladies either stuffed into skirts in front of a microphone or waiting backstage for post-party favours.
Shore, who was no stranger to health struggles having battled through polio as a child, died on Dec. 27th, 2016 at the age of 73 after a long fight with cancer.