Playlists & music by Sandi Sheldon
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Born Kendra Spotswood in 1945 in Englewood, New Jersey, the soul singer is best known for her 1967 hit “You’re Gonna Make Me Love You”, which was released under her stage name Sandi Sheldon. However, during her short career, she did record under her own name as well as pseudonyms such as Kenni Woods and Alice Presley. One of the most underrated of all the vocalists during the girl group era in the mid-1960s, she’s also known for her work with Van McCoy and the Shirelles. She began her professional career at the age of 18 when she sang backing vocals on “Lonely Summer”, the 1963 single by the Four Buddies, a group featuring singer, songwriter, and producer Van McCoy. Signing to the Philips label, she released the single “Can’t He Take a Hint” (1963), which was issued under the name Kenni Woods. Her second single for the label, “Back with My Baby” (1963), featured backing vocals performed by future soul legends Dee Dee Warwick, Doris Troy, and Cissy Houston (Whitney’s mother). She then toured with the Shirelles from 1964 to 1966 but did not record with them due to her contract with Philips. She also wrote and recorded several singles with her then-boyfriend Van McCoy, all of which were released under pseudonyms such as the Pacettes, Jack & Jill, and the Fantastic Vantastics. Her 1965 single, “Stickin’ with My Baby”, was her only release to be issued under her real name, Kendra Spotswood. Released under the name Sandi Sheldon, the 1967 single “You’re Gonna Make Me Love You” was released to little fanfare. By 1970, Kendra Spotswood had left the music business and relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. In the 1970s, “You’re Gonna Make Me Love You” was rediscovered in the UK by lovers of Northern Soul. The song became a classic and has been embraced by new generations of fans ever since. Kendra Spotswood spent the next few decades completely unaware of the resurgence of interest in her Sandi Sheldon single. However, once she discovered that there was interest in her music, she returned to live performing.