Portrait of Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield – Britain’s Greatest Soul Singer
Dusty Springfield was Britain’s greatest female pop/soul singer. She was also the finest white soul singer of her time. Dusty’s idol was Peggy Lee. She was raised on an eclectic diet of classical music and jazz. Her father used to tap out rhythms on her hands as a child. On leaving school in 1958, Dusty answered an ad, and joined the Lana Sisters.
The Lana Sisters had a minor hit with “Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat” in the late 50’s.
In 1960 Dusty was invited by her brother to join him in forming The Springfields. Dusty left The Lana Sisters and formed the pop folk trio The Springfields with her brother Dion O’Brien (Tom Springfield) and Tim Field. Tim Field later left The Springfields and was replaced by Mike Hurst. The Springfields became the UK’s best selling act with hits like Breakaway, Bambino and Say I Won’t Be There.
The Springfields charted with Silver Threads and Golden Needles in the US in 1962. After this success they went to Nashville to record, where Dusty was profoundly influenced by the sound of Motown. Returning to England in 1965 Dusty hosted the TV special The Sound of Motown.
The Springfields disbanded in 1963. Dusty went solo and experienced immediate chart success with I Only Want To Be With You, her first solo hit rising to Number 4 in the UK charts, and a hit in 19 countries including the US where it peaked at No.12. Dusty was the first major female artist to break into the US charts since 1952, only just beaten by The Beatles.
A further string of hits followed – Stay Awhile (1964), I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself (1964), Losing You (1964), Middle of Nowhere (1965), Some Of Your Lovin (1965), All I See Is You (1966), Little by Little (1966), Wishin and Hopin (1964 US charts), I Close My Eyes and Count To Ten (1968), Son Of A Preacher Man (1968). And in 1966, Dusty scored her biggest international hit with the emotion drenched ballad “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” which topped the UK charts and reached the top five in the US.
Dusty’s unique style, ethereal voice and her special interpretation of lyrics and songs made her one of the greatest soul singers ever, and ensured her a place in the hearts of her legion of fans all over the world, forever.
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