|Birth name||Sandra Beecham|
Sandy was raised in Warren,HT15 a suburb of Detroit, by her parents, Dick and Patricia Beecham.HT22 Her father was a calming influence on her mother, who was very critical of her daughter, who'd often complain about her attempts to change her. Sandy was already a serious music student when she went to Central Michigan University and met Dayna. She soon found herself busking with Dayna on the Renfaire circuit and enjoying it. They dropped out of school after two years and performed as a duo. They were dressed in tight corsets at the Silver Leaf Renfaire in Kalamazoo where Emily Holst saw them.MC4 It was also during her first semester at college that she discovered she could take money for sexHT4 but not for the last time.
The two girls had been making a living touring between Renfaires and playing places like Mackinaw CityHT11 before widening their circle. "The green highlighter line in the Rand McNally Road Atlas eventually touched all 48 contiguous states, and several of the pages were crisscrossed with their green tracks. When possible, if they were going between two places they'd been before, they'd study the atlas and take a different route just for the sake of going a different way and seeing someplace new."HT21
After food poisoning nearly killed the pair, they went to their respective parent's homes to recover. Under pressure from her parents, Sandy got married to Robbie Buehler in September 1994.HT22 Dayna continued playing on the road.MC15 By April 1995, Sandy was working at a pizza restaurant and playing gigs for money while Robbie was underemployed. Things changed drastically after Robbie hocked her guitar and hit her when she complained. She called Vicky Pabst, then living not far away, for help.HT27 Sandy relocated to Antelope Valley Nevada to gain her six weeks residency for a divorce, earning money at the Redlite Ranch Bordello. She was described at the time as a slightly heavy-set girl with dirty blonde hair.MC15
As Jennlynn Swift described it, "Dayna was a soulful guitar player, or at least had been, and Sandy had been practicing a little two weeks before, so Jennlynn knew she was no slouch. She could imagine the two playing at a Renfaire, teasing the crowds, having fun, making beautiful music."MC16
The duo reformed their two-girl group, had cut some professional CDs and toured enough to make pretty good money. The couple lived together in a motor home and based out of Bradford, Michigan. "While both Dayna and Sandy would date a guy once in a while, and nothing had ever been said, it was pretty well common knowledge that they were lesbians, or at least bi."MC26
They had a minor hit sometime around 1999 called Experience of Survival. Its original version included part of the Memphis Symphony and it told of "heroes who had given their lives for their friends." Myleigh Harris included a cover version at her concerts in 2001.BB35 Myleigh also uses another Dayna and Sandy song, Empty Cat Blues.
Sandy has a strong wanderlust and despite having a home in Bradford with Dayna, she isn't a native of the town. "Now about half of her winter layovers in Bradford were spent in one of Dean's or John's Kenworths, team driving or filling in on shorter runs so the guys could get a little break."HS11 For this reason Sandy acquired a CDL(Commercial Driver's License).PUTP16
Studio albums with Dayna Berkshire:
- Faire Maiden (1990), Traditional
- Genie in a Bottle (1990) Blues/Pop
- Turn Me On (1992) Blues/Pop
- Together Forever (1996) includes the song Pick Me Please
- Experience of Survival (1998) includes the title song which made the charts