Dusty Springfield (April 16, 1939 - March 2, 1999) was a highly acclaimed English pop/blue-eyed soul singer with distinctive sultry, emotive vocals that became famous beginning in the mid 1960s. Born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien in the West Hampstead area of London, she grew up in a music-loving family and began singing as a child. The tomboyish young future pop star was given the nickname "Dusty" for playing football with boys in the street. She began her music career in 1958 while in her late teens as a member of The Lana Sisters. Two years later, with her older brother Dion, she co-founded The Springfields, a pop-folk vocal trio that also consisted of Tim Field which became a top selling act in the U.K. Dion and Mary "Dusty" O'Brien thereafter became known professionally as Tom Springfield and Dusty Springfield, respectively.
Springfield launched her solo career in late 1963 with the release of her debut single, "I Only Want To Be With You," which became the first in a long string of hits on both sides of the Atlantic as well as many countries worldwide. This upbeat rocker made the Top 20 on the U.S. Pop/Rock charts in early 1964 and became one of the earliest hits by a British Invasion act after The Beatles. Her best known songs include the perky "Wishin' And Hopin'" (1964), the wistful "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" (1966), and the upbeat and soulful "Son-Of-A Preacher Man" (1968), which all reached the Top 10. Her many other hits also included "Stay Awhile" (1964), "All I See Is You" (1966), "I'll Try Anything" (1967), "The Look Of Love" (1967), "The Windmills Of Your Mind" (1969), and "A Brand New Me" (1969). With Pet Shop Boys, she made a return to the charts in 1987 with "What Have I Done To Deserve This?" which became her biggest hit in the U.S., peaking at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Interest in Springfield's early hits was revived in 1994 when "Son-Of-A Preacher Man" was included in the soundtrack to "Pulp Fiction," which sold over three million copies.
Considered by many to be among Britain's greatest female performing artists, Dusty Springfield's numerous awards and honors included being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and the U.K. Music Hall of Fame in 2006. In 1999, she was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for "services to popular music," and in 2008, she was ranked at #35 by Rolling Stone in the magazine's list of "100 Greatest Singers of All Time." Her critically acclaimed "Dusty In Memphis" (1969) has been listed among the greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone, and in 2001, this recording received a Grammy Hall of Fame award.
- Dusty Springfield discusses the making of "Dusty In Memphis" and other topics in an interview from MOJO (July, 1995).
- The New York Times remembers Dusty Springfield.
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Dusty Springfield performs "Son Of A Preacher Man" on The Ed Sullivan Show (November 24, 1968).
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- A Brand New Me 1969
(This song later also became a hit for Aretha Franklin (1971).)
- I Only Want To Be With You 1964
(This song later also became a hit for the Bay City Rollers (1976), the Tourists (1980), Nicolette Larson (1982), and Samantha Fox (1989).)
- The Look Of Love 1967
(This Burt Bacharach/Hal David-penned song later also became a hit for Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 (1968) and Isaac Hayes (1971). Dusty Springfield's sultry version of "The Look Of Love" was part of the soundtrack for the 1967 movie, "Casino Royale." This song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2008.)
- Son-Of-A Preacher Man 1968
(This song later also became a hit for Aretha Franklin (1970).)
- Stay Awhile 1964
(This song later also became a hit for the Continental Miniatures (1978).)
- Wishin' And Hopin' 1964
- You Don't Have To Say You Love Me 1966
(This song later also became a hit for the Four Sonics (1968) and Elvis Presley (1970).)
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