Sandi Shoemake was born Sandra Marie Bumgarner on October 9, 1938. Her birthplace was Rochester, Minnesota but since her parents moved to Los Angles two years later, she has always considered herself a California native. Her father was a semiprofessional drummer-vocalist with Dixieland bands and from her earliest recollections she remembers wanting to sing. Though she went through the usual regime belonging to all the school choirs, her most helpful early training came from singing with her father's bands on their many dance engagements.
In 1956 she enrolled in Los Angeles City College's music department, at that time considered one of the finest in the country for professional music training. By her second year there she had become the featured vocalist in the A band whose members from time to time included pianist-arranger Bob Florence, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Gary Peacock, and saxophonist Lanny Morgan. After her second year at school she was hired by trombonist Si Zentner's orchestra, a position she retained for two years. The band played various jobs around the west coast but most notably became a regular attraction at the Hollywood Palladium.
After marrying Charlie Shoemake in 1959 she soon began singing with him in clubs around the Los Angeles area. With the downslide of quality popular music in the 1960's however, Sandi found her best opportunities in studio work (singing with vocal groups on television variety shows and commercials). She was a staff vocalist at N.B.C. from 1965-1971 and did much free lance work at C.B.S. and A.B.C. as well. Some of the shows that she sang on weekly included the Andy Williams Show, The Jerry Lewis Show, The Red Skeleton Show, The Lennon Sisters-Jimmy Durante Show and numerous specials for Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Dean Martin, and others.
Sandi Shoemake has an incredibly pure, bell-like sound with an imaginative and beautiful style of phrasing. She is one of the finest interpreters of ballad material anywhere… Zan Stewart, Los Angeles Times
The first thing that is readily apparent about Sandi Shoemake is her extraordinarily beautiful sound, pristine and controlled, with a warmth at the core. The style that partners the sound is equally pure. Its' very unaffectedness entwines with the music for a completely integrated whole… Ira Gilter, Jazz Times
One of the most underrated vocalists on the contemporary scene... Leonard Feather, Jazz Critic