Dusty Springfield
United Kingdom pop, blue-eyed soul singer
Dusty Springfield
Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, known professionally as Dusty Springfield, was an English pop singer whose career extended from the late 1950s to the 1990s. With her distinctive sensual sound, she was an important blue-eyed soul singer, and at her peak was one of the most successful British female performers, with six top 20 singles on the United States Billboard Hot 100 and sixteen on the United Kingdom Singles Chart from 1963 to 1989.
Biography
Dusty Springfield's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Dusty Springfield from around the web
This Singer's New Video Is A Cross-Generational Look At Queer Love
Huffington Post - 6 days
Singer-songwriter Tom Goss casts a spotlight on LGBTQ relationships across generations with the new video for his heartfelt ballad, “More Than Temporary.”  The Huffington Post got an exclusive look at the new video, which begins with a commitment-shy gay man parting ways with a date. After the man observes several older, same-sex couples canoodling across town, his hesitation about the date subsides. The clip concludes with several “When Harry Met Sally...”-style video testimonials from real-life couples.  Goss, who originally hails from Wisconsin, said he “really wanted to create something that honored LGBTQ seniors and long-term relationships” with the song, which is featured on his 2016 album, “What Doesn’t Break.”  “I’m grateful to those that have come before me. They have paved the way for the rights and privileges that I take for granted,” he told The Huffington Post. “Hopefully this video can highlight the beauty and inspiration of LGBTQ seniors, and i ...
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Huffington Post article
New Petula Clark Musical From Bruce Vilanch Could Be Headed to Broadway
Huffington Post - 18 days
From penning witty zingers for the Tony Awards to hosting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS fundraisers, Bruce Vilanch is no stranger to the New York theatre community. In 2005, Vilanch even starred as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. When the Hollywood funnyman returns to Broadway, though, he hopes it’s as writer of the next great jukebox musical. “Think Mamma Mia!” said Vilanch when describing his new musical Sign of the Times. “In fact, please think Mamma Mia! -- because Mamma Mia! ran only 12 years, so please think of that!” Like other “jukebox musicals” -- productions such as Jersey Boys and Beautiful - The Carole King Musical -- Sign of the Times utilizes hit pop songs rather than an original score. In this case, the music of Grammy Award-winning, ‘60s British pop icon Petula Clark “and other hit-makers of the day” takes center stage. “When I was in college, and I was hearing Petula’s music, every time I would hear one of her songs, I’d say, ‘What show is that from?’” the comed ...
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Huffington Post article
Bonnie Bishop On World Cafe
NPR - 6 months
The Nashville singer's inner Dusty Springfield comes out on her newest album, Ain't Who I Was. Hear her perform three songs live in the studio.
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NPR article
Bieber Bathos Elegy and Bernstein - Live from The Whitney
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Bieber Bathos Elegy debuts at The Whitney this month "It's time for me to grow up," Justin Bieber said in a recent interview. And growing up amidst the pressures of a complex world and a relentless public eye is the tricky, tenuous, entertaining theme of New York-based artist Felix Bernstein's new musical spectacle, Bieber Bathos Elegy, which will debut at The Whitney Museum of American Art this month. During the performance, Bieber visits the stage as a prophetic angel to critique and parody the show inspired by events from Bernstein's life and critically acclaimed writings, collected recently in Burn Book (Nightboat). This hybrid work of opera, poetry, cabaret drag (artist Shelley Hirsch leads a gay youth's chorus in a rendition of "Tomorrow" from Annie) and deconstructive criticism features Bernstein as the thinking millennial's poet trying to figure out where lieth the reality in the labyrinth of life. Bernstein is the author of Notes on Post-Conceptual Poetry and Burn ...
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Huffington Post article
First Nighter: The Rolin Jones-Billie Joe Armstrong 'These Paper Bullets!' Makes Much Ado Over The Beatles
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Since April 23, 2016 is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, it shouldn't be surprising that homages to the great playwright will be popping up right, left and center. Already available is Mike Bartlett's Charles III, a hot-ticket contemporary vision of the next English monarch's reign told with Shakespearean references in iambic pentameter. Now comes These Paper Bullets!, Rolin Jones's Much Ado About Nothing rewrite, at Atlantic Theater Company's Linda Gross Theater, set in 1964. Shakespeare idolaters will instantly recognize that year as the 400th anniversary of the Bard's Stratford-upon-Avon birth. It's also the year of The Beatles going global, which allows the quick-thinking Jones to blend Shakespeare's melancholy comedy with a send-up of the Fab Four, here called--with a blatant nod to our Will--The Quartos. Sure, this mop-topped quarter could just as easily have been blatantly dubbed The Folios. Of course, blatant is as blatant does in this context, because ...
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Huffington Post article
Kid and Playful: Jessie Baylin Steps Out of Her Dark Shadow
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
It was around this time three years ago when serious-minded singer-songwriter Jessie Baylin turned prankster, playing the trick of a lifetime on her mother. "Mom, I just want to tell you, I'm not pregnant," Baylin said matter-of-factly. "Oh, that's OK," Dori Baldassarre responded, figuring she would become a doting grandmother one day. Then Baylin delivered the knockout punch line: "April Fools!" Recalling that moment with glee during a March 24 phone interview from her home in Nashville, Baylin said, "That was sort of a thrill," though it meant a premature ending to her first major tour, including as a supporting act for the Fray at places like Red Rocks. But the reaction she got from her mother on April 1, 2012, more than made up for it, spreading joy throughout the Baldassarre home in Gillette, New Jersey, ever since. "Oh my God. Like ridiculous!" said Baylin, who gave birth to Violet Marlowe Followill on Dec. 26, 2012. "It was amazing. She's like super-grandma." ...
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Huffington Post article
Did CES Just Kill the Old Video Game Console?
The Street - about 3 years
PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- The gaming console as we know it just went on deathwatch.During the 2013 Consumer Electronics Expo, we predicted that physical games would be in serious trouble thanks largely to devices such as the NVIDIA Shield, which gave users a way to play full-bodied console games from cloud-based services such as Valve's Steam without using a PC or a big console that had to read discs. By the time the Electronic Entertainment Expo rolled around last summer, Microsoft and Sony placed streaming and downloaded games at the center of their Xbox One and Playstation 4 consoles while giving disc-based games enough lip service to briefly postpone their demise.On Monday, Valve just kind of giggled at that response. After consumers around the world spent this holiday season buying up more than 4 million PS4 consoles at $399 a pop, 3 million Xbox One systems for $499 and enough Nintendo Wii U decks at $250 to $330 apiece to bring total sales to more than 5 million, Valve jus ...
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The Street article
Dog Ears Music: Volume 300 Deserves to Be Heard
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Joe MeekProducer, engineer, composer, and eccentric sound innovator Joe Meek was born in 1929 in South West England. His childhood was fraught, with his mum raising him as a girl until the age of 4, setting the stage for a lifelong identity crisis. By the age of 7, he fell in love with his first gramophone and became an eminent tinkerer, burrowing into the safety of sound. Working out of a gadget-packed home studio and using a raft of newfangled recording techniques, Meek produced and wrote the U.S. No. 1 hit "Telstar" for British pop band The Tornados in 1962. He continued to push the technological envelope with tracks for Les Paul and Mary Ford, David Bowie, Tom Jones, The Honeycombs, Screaming Lord Sutch, actor/singer John Leyton, Heinz, Glenda Collins, and Ritchie Blackmore, among many others. Emotional and financial turmoil, including an obsession with the occult and drug abuse, pushed Meek beyond the edge in 1967, when he killed his landlady and then himself at ...
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Huffington Post article
Adele & Dusty Springfield: Singer Rumored To Play Late Musician In Upcoming Biopic
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Adele may be on her way to the big screen. The Grammy award-winning singer, who has yet to appear in a feature film, is rumored for the starring role in an upcoming biopic about late singer Dusty Springfield. Born in England in the '30s, Springfield was a celebrated soul singer who nabbed a spot in the Grammy and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. After releasing multiple chart-topping singles and albums, Springfield died in 1999 at the age of 59. Rumors about a Springfield biopic have been making the rounds for months. In 2011 it was announced that Nick Hurran ("Little Black Book"), would direct the project, with early reports speculating that Kristin Chenoweth would take the lead role. "Boardwalk Empire" producer David Stenn is also reportedly attached to write the script. While little progress has been made on the forthcoming film as of late, Adele's name is being tossed around for the part and may reinvigorate plans for the biopic. An unnamed source told the Daily Star, "Adele is ...
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Huffington Post article
17 Epic Beehive Hairstyles We're Still Buzzing About (PHOTOS)
The Huffington Post - USA - over 3 years
Beehive hair has become synonymous with big-name musical acts from across the pond such as Dusty Springfield, Amy Winehouse and Adele. But did you know that the towering hairdo was created by retired Chicago hairstylist Margaret Vinci Heldt? While trying to come up with a hair trend that would define the '60s for Modern Beauty Shop magazine, Heldt was inspired by a hat she owned to fashion this sky-high hairstyle. The vintage hair mag coined it the "beehive," and a bandwagon effect ensued -- suddenly, everyone from stay-at-home moms to pop stars and Hollywood actresses were requesting the 'do. The beehive's height has had its ups and downs over the years, as women incorporate side-swept bangs and ponytails. However, it is still one of the most popular '60s hairstyles that stars sport on the red carpet today. Read More... More on The Beauty Page
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The Huffington Post - USA article
Mike Ragogna: Dark: A Conversation with Martyn Ware, Plus James The Giant's "Two Weeks On The Ocean" Exclusive and Capricorn Studios in Peril
Huffington Post - over 3 years
JAMES THE GIANT'S "TWO WEEKS ON THE OCEAN" Photo Credit: Larkin Small According to James The Giant, "The song, 'Two Weeks on the Ocean,' was written two weeks after my brother, Julian Brennan, was killed in action in Afghanistan. The video started out as my father's project. A few months ago, he told me that he wanted to put together clips that he had of Julian and put them to 'Two Weeks on the Ocean.' When I decided to release the song, I asked him if he would be willing to work on the video. He compiled all the footage and photos and created the first edit of the video. I enlisted the help of photo/videographer Max Silverman to get the shots of me performing on Bernal Hill. Then together with a talented young editor name Julius Doogan from Brooklyn, the two videos were merged to create what you see here. "Max shot the footage low contrast with the intent that it could be brightened up in post production. However, when I started to work on the cut, I decided the mu ...
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Huffington Post article
Mike Ragogna: Thank You, Mr. Dog Ears: My HuffPost Interviews with Phil Ramone, Plus H.D. Harmsen's "Teetotaler" Video Premiere
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Bye, Phil... When people use the phrase "...it's the end of era" with regards to someone's passing, it's almost always a respectful exaggeration. But with Phil Ramone's recent death, it's the definition of "The End Of An Era," and I'm sure most who consider themselves pop music aficionados would agree. I personally was saddened by the iconic producer/engineer/mastermind's recent passing not only because I kind of bonded with him during our two interviews together, but also because his sonic fingerprints are all over so much of the music I grew up on. Also, during our first interview, he personally schooled me on how to trade the "planned questions" approach in favor of a more coherent, "conversational" style, an approach I used ever since. Presented here are those interviews I mentioned that might give you some insight into the man, his talent, his humor, and pop music history from his perspective. In addition to my original posts, I've included the first interview's ...
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Huffington Post article
Mark Anthony Neal: Reflections: The Supremes and the Politics of Image
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
The meteoric rise of The Supremes in the 1960s can be best measured in the context of singular tragic events in American history: When President John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas in November of 1963, few knew who The Supremes were, yet when Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered in Memphis in April of 1968, Diana Ross and the Supremes appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to help bring sense to the tragedy. That many of the front-line Civil Rights activists like Bob Moses, Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael and the Greensboro Four -- Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr., and David Richmond -- were barely out of high school, like The Supremes, is a reminder of how these young folk literally changed the world. While no one will ever mistake the Freedom Summer of 1964 for a groundbreaking appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Supremes and Motown were waging a battle on behalf of African-Americans within the realm of image making. The success of the Sup ...
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Huffington Post article
Liz Smith: To Lulu, With Love. Will Britain's Iconic Soul Singer Conquer (Finally!) America? She Debuts At NYC's B.B. King's Club on February 16
Huffington Post - about 4 years
"HOW DO you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume / It isn't easy but I'll try. If you wanted the sky, I would write across the sky in letters that would soar a thousand feet high -- to sir, with love." This is British singer Lulu's poignant declaration of gratitude to Sidney Poitier in the 1966 movie, To Sir, With Love. It not only helped the film to become a huge hit (those were the days a theme song could do that!) but it propelled 16-year-old Lulu, already something of a sensation in England, to worldwide prominence. But Lulu never really capitalized on her success in America. In the UK, she had her own TV show, has topped the British charts in every decade, has written hits for the likes of Tina Turner, and worked with everybody from Johnny Cash to Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, Sting, David Bowie and Paul McCartney. She is, with no exaggeration, an iconic figure to her countrymen -- The Queen of Soul. But over here? "Not so much, not at all!" Lul ...
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Huffington Post article
Is Anything Real Anymore?
Huffington Post - about 4 years
PITTSBURGH — The breathtaking model on your magazine cover: Of course she's not that thin and unblemished. That reality show you never miss? You're shocked – shocked that its real-life drama isn't 100 percent unscripted. And that diva who may or may not have mouthed the words to the national anthem to her own prerecorded voice? Yeah, well, so what? It was a big moment, and she wanted to sound her best. In America these days, in countless tiny ways, much of what we see and experience isn't exactly what it seems. We know it, too. And often we don't care, because what we're getting just seems to "pop" more than its garden-variety, without-the-special-sauce counterpart. Whether Beyonce actually sang at last week's presidential inauguration – the jury's still out, and she's kept silent – is, on the surface, the textbook teapot tempest. Dig deeper, though, and the conversation – or lack of it – reveals something important about society at this moment. The big question i ...
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Huffington Post article
American Sound Studio On World Cafe
NPR - about 4 years
The last stop on our "Sense of Place" tour of Memphis is American Sound Studio, which churned out hits by Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin and many more. Listen to an interview with Ben Vaughn, a member of the American Sound house band, The Memphis Boys. » E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us
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NPR article
Jessica Lange On Tonight's 'AHS' Musical Number, Going Mad & More
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Jessica Lange has gone from playing a no-nonsense nun to rule-breaking mental patient on this season of "American Horror Story" and she's loving the ride. The Oscar, Emmy and Golden Globe winning actress has been portraying Sister Jude on the sophomore season of the critically-acclaimed FX series and in the most recent episode, she was chained to a bed in Briarcliff, the asylum she previously ruled with an iron fist ... and a closet full of canes. Lange, who's up for another Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award this month for her work on "American Horror Story: Asylum" (Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST on FX), took the time to talk with The Huffington Post via phone about her inexplicable draw to playing characters going mad, a "startling" musical number in this week's episode (in which she dresses up like Dusty Springfield), whether or not Sister Jude will have a happy ending and much more. What did you love about Sister Jude when ["American Horror Story" co-creator] ...
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Huffington Post article
Eliot Van Buskirk: 33 1/3 Books Are Exactly What Music Needs
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Hey, look, some band released an album. Why should you care? Maybe you shouldn't, but sometimes you do. If this happens to you, this whole caring-about-an-album-a-lot thing, the 33 1/3 series of books from Bloomsbury (see also: the blog) can be an invaluable resource. These small books detail the stories behind many of history's most legendary albums. The series is still going strong, 86 books in. In this lucky age, when music fans can hear just about anything ever recorded in seconds, these books provide deep context that is too often missing. They should probably be apps. Eliot Van Buskirk, Evolver.fm: How did the idea for the 33 1/3 series come about? David Barker, Bloomsbury Publishing: I published a series called Continuum Contemporaries back in the late '90s/early '00s -- they were short critical guides to contemporary works of fiction. The works covered had a good range, including White Teeth, The Secret History, Underworld, Paradise, Infinite Jest and even ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Dusty Springfield
    FIFTIES
  • 1999
    Age 59
    However, her new manager Alan Bernard negotiated her out of the Atlantic contract; some of the tracks were used on the UK-only album, See All Her Faces (November 1972), and the 1999 release, Dusty in Memphis-Deluxe Edition.
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    In March 1999 Springfield was scheduled to go to Buckingham Palace to receive her award as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, given for "services to popular music".
    More Details Hide Details Due to the recurrence of the singer's breast cancer, officials of Queen Elizabeth II gave permission for the medal to be collected earlier, in January, by Wickham and it was presented to Springfield in hospital with a small group of friends and relatives attending. She died on the day that she would otherwise have collected her award from the Palace. Various films and stage musicals have been created or proposed to commemorate her life. On 12 January 2006 an Australian stage musical, Dusty – The Original Pop Diva, received its world premiere at the State Theatre of the Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne.
    The song, which Springfield called "good old schmaltz," was voted among the All Time Top 100 Songs by the listeners of BBC Radio 2 in 1999.
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  • 1996
    Age 56
    By mid-1996 the cancer had returned, and in spite of vigorous treatments she died in Henley-on-Thames on 2 March 1999.
    More Details Hide Details Her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, had been scheduled two weeks after her death. Her friend Elton John helped induct her into the Hall of Fame, declaring, "I'm biased but I just think she was the greatest white singer there ever has been... Every song she sang, she claimed as her own." Springfield's funeral service was attended by hundreds of fans and people from the music business, including Elvis Costello, Lulu, and Pet Shop Boys. It was a Catholic funeral, which took place in Oxfordshire, at the ancient parish church of St. Mary the Virgin, in Henley-on-Thames, where Springfield had lived during her last years. A marker dedicated to her memory was placed in the church graveyard. Springfield was cremated and some of her ashes were buried at Henley, while the rest were scattered by her brother, Tom Springfield, at the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland.
  • 1995
    Age 55
    In 1995, in apparent good health, Springfield set about promoting the album, which was released that year.
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  • 1994
    Age 54
    In January 1994 while recording her penultimate album, A Very Fine Love, in Nashville, Dusty Springfield felt ill.
    More Details Hide Details When she returned to the United Kingdom a few months later, her physicians diagnosed breast cancer. She received months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment and the cancer was in remission.
    Quentin Tarantino caused a revival of interest in her music in 1994 by including "Son of a Preacher Man" in the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, which sold over three million copies.
    More Details Hide Details In that same year, in the documentary, Dusty Springfield. Full Circle, guests of her 1965 Sound of Motown show credited Springfield's efforts with popularising US soul music in the UK. Springfield was popular in Europe and performed at the Sanremo Music Festival. Recordings were released in French, German, and Italian: her French works include a 1964 four-track extended play with "Demain tu peux changer" (aka "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"), "Je ne peux pas t'en vouloir" ("Losing You"), "L'été est fini" ("The Summer Is Over") and "Reste encore un instant" ("Stay Awhile"); German recordings include the July 1964 single, "Warten und hoffen" ("Wishin' and Hopin' ") backed with "Auf dich nur wart' ich immerzu" ("I Only Want to Be with You"); Italian recordings include "Tanto so che poi mi passa" ("Every Day I Have to Cry") issued as a single. Her entries at the Sanremo festival were "Tu che ne sai" and "Di fronte all'amore" ("I Will Always Want You").
    In the middle of 1994, Springfield was diagnosed with breast cancer.
    More Details Hide Details The last studio track Springfield recorded was George and Ira Gershwin's song "Someone to Watch Over Me" – in London in 1995 for an insurance company TV ad. It was included on Simply Dusty (2000), an anthology that she had helped plan. Her final live performance was on The Christmas with Michael Ball special in December 1995. Influenced by US pop music, Dusty Springfield created a distinctive blue-eyed soul sound. BBC News noted "her soulful voice, at once strident and vulnerable, set her apart from her contemporaries... She was equally at home singing Broadway standards, blues, country or even techno-pop". Allmusic's Jason Ankeny described her as: Most responses to her voice emphasise her breathy sensuality. Another powerful feature was the sense of longing, in songs such as "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" and "Goin' Back". The uniqueness of Springfield's voice was described by Bacharach: "You could hear just three notes and you knew it was Dusty". Wexler declared, "her particular hallmark was a haunting sexual vulnerability in her voice, and she may have had the most impeccable intonation of any singer I ever heard". Greil Marcus of Rolling Stone captured Springfield's technique as "a soft, sensual box (voice) that allowed her to combine syllables until they turned into pure cream." She had a finely tuned musical ear and extraordinary control of tone.
  • 1993
    Age 53
    Springfield's next album, provisionally titled Dusty in Nashville, was started in 1993 with producer, Tom Shapiro, but was issued as A Very Fine Love in June 1995.
    More Details Hide Details Though originally intended by Shapiro as a country music album, the track selection by Springfield pushed the album into pop music with an occasional country feel.
    In 1993, she recorded a duet with her former 1960s professional rival and friend, Cilla Black.
    More Details Hide Details In October, "Heart and Soul" was released as a single and, in September it had appeared on Black's album, Through the Years.
  • 1990
    Age 50
    She capitalised on this by recording the 1990 album Reputation, her third UK Top 20 studio album.
    More Details Hide Details The writing and production credits for half the album, which included the two recent hit singles, went to Pet Shop Boys, while the album's other producers included Dan Hartman. By 1988 Springfield had left California and, other than when recording tracks for Reputation, she returned to the UK to live.
  • FORTIES
  • 1989
    Age 49
    Released as a single in February 1989, it gave Springfield her fifteenth UK Top 20 hit.
    More Details Hide Details In November its follow-up, the upbeat "In Private", also written and produced by Pet Shop Boys, peaked at No. 14.
    Springfield returned to the studio with Pet Shop Boys, who produced her recording of their song "Nothing Has Been Proved", commissioned for the soundtrack of the 1989 drama film, Scandal.
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  • 1987
    Age 47
    In 1987, she accepted an invitation from Pet Shop Boys to duet with their lead singer, Neil Tennant, on the single "What Have I Done to Deserve This?
    More Details Hide Details ". Tennant cites Dusty in Memphis as one of his favourite albums, and he leapt at the suggestion of using Springfield's vocals for "What Have I Done To Deserve This?". She also appeared on the promotional video. The single rose to No. 2 on both the US and UK charts. It appeared on the Pet Shop Boys album Actually, and on both artists' greatest hits collections. Springfield sang lead vocals on the Richard Carpenter song "Something in Your Eyes", recorded for his album, Time (October 1987). Released as a single, it became a US No. 12 adult contemporary hit. Springfield recorded a duet with B. J. Thomas, "As Long as We Got Each Other," which was used as the opening theme for the US sitcom Growing Pains in season 4 (1988–9). (Thomas had collaborated with Jennifer Warnes on the original version, which was neither re-recorded with Warnes nor released as a single.) It was issued as a single and reached No. 7 on the Adult Contemporary Singles Chart.
  • 1985
    Age 45
    She tried to revive her career in 1985 by returning to the UK and signing to Peter Stringfellow's Hippodrome Records label.
    More Details Hide Details This resulted in the single "Sometimes Like Butterflies" and an appearance on Terry Wogan's TV chat show, Wogan. None of Springfield's recordings from 1971 to 1986 charted on the UK Top 40 or Billboard Hot 100.
  • 1982
    Age 42
    Springfield was uncharacteristically proud of her 1982 album White Heat, which was influenced by new wave music.
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  • 1981
    Age 41
    In 1981 she had a six-month love affair with singer-musician Carole Pope of the rock band Rough Trade.
    More Details Hide Details During periods of psychological and professional instability, Springfield's involvement in some intimate relationships, influenced by addiction, resulted in episodes of personal injury. In 1982 Springfield met an American actress, Teda Bracci, at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting – in April 1983 the pair moved in together and seven months later they exchanged vows at a wedding ceremony which was not legally recognised under California law. The pair had a "tempestuous" relationship which led to an altercation with both Springfield and Bracci hospitalised – Springfield had been smashed in the mouth by Bracci wielding a saucepan and had teeth knocked out requiring plastic surgery. The pair had separated within two years.
  • 1980
    Age 40
    In 1980 Springfield sang "Bits and Pieces", the theme song from the movie The Stunt Man.
    More Details Hide Details She signed a US deal with 20th Century Records, which resulted in the single "It Goes Like It Goes", a cover of the Oscar-winning song from the film, Norma Rae.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1979
    Age 39
    In 1979, Gerard had a fatal heart attack in nearby Rottingdean.
    More Details Hide Details Some of Springfield's biographers and journalists have speculated that she had two personalities: shy, quiet, Mary O'Brien – and the public face she had created as Dusty Springfield. An editorial review at Publishers Weekly of Valentine and Wickham's 2001 biography, Dancing with Demons, finds " the confidence Springfield exuded on vinyl was a facade masking severe insecurities, addictions to drink and drugs, bouts of self-harm and fear of losing her career if exposed as a lesbian". Simon Bell, one of Springfield's session singers, disputed the twin personality description, " it's very easy to decide there are two people, Mary and Dusty, but they were the one person. Dusty was most definitely Dusty right to the end".
    On 3 December 1979, she performed a charity concert for a full house at the Royal Albert Hall, in the presence of Princess Margaret.
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    In early 1979, Springfield played club dates in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details In London, she recorded two singles with David Mackay for her UK label, Mercury Records (formerly Philips Records). The first was the disco-influenced "Baby Blue", co-written by Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes which reached No. 61 in the UK. The second, "Your Love Still Brings Me to My Knees", released in January 1980, was Springfield's final single for Mercury Records; she had been with them for nearly 20 years.
    Her 1979 album, Living Without Your Love, did not reach the top 50.
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  • 1974
    Age 34
    By 1974 Springfield had put her solo musical career on hold to live as a recluse in the US and avoid scrutiny by UK tabloids.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1960s and early 1970s gay or bisexual performers "knew that being 'out' would lead to prurient media attention, loss of record contracts... the tabloids became obsessively interested in the contents of celebrity closets". In the mid-1970s she sang background vocals on Elton John's album Caribou (June 1974), including his single "The Bitch Is Back"; and on Anne Murray's album Together (November 1975). In the late 1970s Springfield released two albums on United Artists Records. The first was 1978's It Begins Again, produced by Roy Thomas Baker. The album peaked in the UK top 50 and was well received by critics.
    Her second ABC Dunhill album was given the working title Elements and was then scheduled for release in late 1974 as Longing.
    More Details Hide Details However, the recording sessions were abandoned, although part of the material, including tentative and incomplete vocals, was issued on the 2001 posthumous compilation Beautiful Soul.
  • 1973
    Age 33
    In 1973, Springfield recorded the theme song for the TV series, The Six Million Dollar Man, which was used for two of its film-length episodes: "Wine, Women & War" and "The Solid Gold Kidnapping".
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  • 1972
    Age 32
    From late 1972 to 1978, Springfield had an "off and on" domestic relationship with Faye Harris, a US photojournalist.
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    In 1972, Springfield signed a contract with ABC Dunhill Records and Cameo was issued in February 1973 to respectable reviews, though poor sales.
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  • 1971
    Age 31
    She recorded some songs with producer Jeff Barry in early 1971, which were intended for an album to be released by Atlantic Records.
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    She sang back up vocals with her friend Madeline Bell on two tracks on Elton John's 1971 hit album, Tumbleweed Connection.
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  • 1970
    Age 30
    In January 1970 her second and final album on Atlantic Records, A Brand New Me (re-titled as From Dusty...
    More Details Hide Details With Love in the UK), was released, it featured tracks written and produced by Gamble and Huff. The album and related singles only sold moderately, and Springfield was unhappy with both her management and record company.
    It earned Springfield a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1970.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1969
    Age 29
    During September and October 1969 Dusty hosted her third and final BBC musical variety series (her fourth variety series overall), Decidedly Dusty (co-hosted by Valentine Dyall).
    More Details Hide Details All eight episodes were later wiped from the BBC archives, and to date the only surviving footage consists of domestic audio recordings. By the start of the 1970s Dusty Springfield was a major star, though her record sales were declining. Her intimate companion, Norma Tanega, had returned to the US after their relationship had become stressful, and Springfield was spending more time in the US herself.
  • 1968
    Age 28
    By 1968 Carole King, a songwriter whom Springfield had frequently tapped for material, had embarked on a solo singing career, while her relationship with the chart-peaking Bacharach-David partnership was floundering.
    More Details Hide Details Springfield's status in the music industry was further complicated by the progressive music revolution and the uncomfortable split between what was underground and "fashionable" and what was pop and "unfashionable". Her performing career was limited to the UK touring circuit of working men's clubs, hotels and cabarets. Hoping to reinvigorate her career and boost her credibility, Springfield signed with Atlantic Records, the label of her idol, Aretha Franklin. The Memphis sessions at the American Sound Studio were produced by Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin; with the back-up vocal band Sweet Inspirations; and the instrumental band Memphis Cats, led by guitarist Reggie Young and bass guitarist Tommy Cogbill. The producers recognised that Springfield's natural soul voice should be placed at the forefront, rather than competing with full string arrangements. At first, Springfield felt anxious when compared with the soul greats who had recorded in the same studios. Springfield had never worked with just a rhythm track and it was her first time with outside producers – many of her previous recordings were self-produced, albeit uncredited. Wexler felt she had a "gigantic inferiority complex" and due to her pursuit of perfection, her vocals were re-recorded later in New York. In November during the Memphis sessions Springfield suggested to Wexler (one of the heads of Atlantic Records) that he should sign the newly formed UK band, Led Zeppelin. She knew their bass guitarist, John Paul Jones, from his session work on her earlier albums.
    Springfield's ITV series It Must Be Dusty was broadcast in May and June 1968, episode six featured a duet performance of "Mockingbird" with singer-guitarist Jimi Hendrix fronting his band, The Experience.
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  • 1966
    Age 26
    By late 1966, Springfield was in a domestic relationship with Tanega – a US-born singer-songwriter who had a UK Top 30 hit with the novelty song, "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog".
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    A compilation of her singles, Golden Hitsm released in November 1966, reached No. 2 in the UK.
    More Details Hide Details From the mid-1960s, Springfield would use the pseudonym "Gladys Thong" when recording backing vocals for other artists including Madeline Bell, Kiki Dee, Anne Murray and Elton John. Bell was a regular backing singer on early Springfield albums, and the pair co-wrote "I'm Gonna Leave You" with Lesley Duncan, which appeared as the B-side of "Goin' Back." Dusty Springfield recorded the Bacharach-David composition "The Look of Love" for the James Bond parody film Casino Royale. For "one of the slowest-tempo hits" of the sixties, Bacharach created a "sultry" feel by the use of "minor-seventh and major-seventh chord changes", while Hal David's lyrics "epitomized longing and, yes, lust". This song was recorded in two versions at the Philips Studios of London. The soundtrack version was released on 29 January 1967 and the single version was out on 14 April. "The Look of Love" was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song of 1967. In the western US, the song was a Top 10 radio hit on stations KGB-AM, San Diego and KHJ-AM, Los Angeles, and earned Springfield her highest place in the year's music charts at No. 22.
    In August and September 1966, she hosted Dusty, a six-part music and talk show weekly BBC TV series.
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    In 1966 Springfield released three additional UK Top 20 hits: "Little By Little" and two dramatic ballads – one written by Carole King: "Goin' Back" and "All I See Is You," written by Ben Weisman & Clive Westlake, which also reached the US Top 20.
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  • 1965
    Age 25
    However, these were not included on her next UK album recorded with The Echoes, Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty, which was released in October 1965 and featured songs by Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley, Rod Argent, and Randy Newman, and a cover of the traditional Mexican song, "La Bamba."
    More Details Hide Details The album peaked at No. 6 on the UK chart.
    During 1965, Springfield released three more UK Top 40 hits: "Your Hurtin' Kinda Love," "In the Middle of Nowhere," and the Carole King-penned "Some of Your Lovin'."
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    On 28 April 1965 it was broadcast by Rediffusion TV, with Springfield opening each half of the show accompanied by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Motown's in-house band, The Funk Brothers.
    More Details Hide Details The associated Tamla-Motown Revue featuring The Supremes, The Miracles and Wonder had started in London in March, and according to The Supremes' Mary Wilson, the tour was a flop: "It's always... disheartening when you go out there and you see the house is half-full... but once you're on stage... You perform as well for five as you do for 500." Wickham, a fan of the Motown artists, booked them for the Ready Steady Go! special and enlisted Springfield to host it.
    From 28 to 30 January 1965 Springfield took part in the Italian Song Festival in San Remo, and reached a semi-final with "Tu che ne sai?" (English:"What Do You Know?") but failed to qualify for the final.
    More Details Hide Details During the competition, she heard the song "Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te)" performed by one of its composers Pino Donaggio and separately by US country music singer Jody Miller. Its English version, "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," featured lyrics newly written by Springfield's friend Vicki Wickham and her future manager, Simon Napier-Bell. It was released in May 1966 and reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 4 in the US, where it was also No. 35 on the Billboard Top 100 for 1966.
  • 1964
    Age 24
    In December 1964, Springfield's tour of South Africa with her group The Echoes was controversially terminated, and she was deported, after they performed for an integrated audience at a theatre near Cape Town, which was against the then government's segregation policy.
    More Details Hide Details Her contract specifically excluded segregated performances, making her one of the first British artists to do so. In the same year, she was voted the Top Female British Artist of the year in the New Musical Express poll, topping Lulu, Sandie Shaw, and Cilla Black. Springfield received the award again for the next three years.
    The only reason I write is for the money – oh mercenary creature!" In 1964, Springfield recorded two Burt Bacharach songs: "Wishin' and Hopin' " – a US Top 10 hit – and the emotional "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself," which reached No. 3 on the UK chart.
    More Details Hide Details The latter song set the standard for much of her later material.
    On 17 April 1964 Springfield issued her debut album A Girl Called Dusty which included mostly cover versions of her favourite songs.
    More Details Hide Details Among the tracks were "Mama Said," "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes," "You Don't Own Me," and "Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa." The album reached No. 6 in the UK in May 1964. The chart hits "Stay Awhile," "All Cried Out," and "Losing You" followed the same year. The B-side of "Stay Awhile" featured another self-penned track, "Somethin' Special," which AllMusic's Richie Unterberger described as "a first-rate Springfield original". However, Springfield declared: "I don't really see myself as a songwriter. I don't really like writing... I just don't get any good ideas and the ones I do get are pinched from other records.
  • 1963
    Age 23
    In November 1963 Springfield released her first solo single, "I Only Want to Be with You," which was co-written and arranged by Ivor Raymonde.
    More Details Hide Details It was produced by Johnny Franz in a manner similar to Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound," and included rhythm and blues features such as horn sections, backing singers, and double-tracked vocals, along with pop music strings, all in the style of girl groups that Springfield admired, such as the Exciters (whose version of "Tell Him" had inspired her to adopt a style oriented more towards rhythm and blues) and the Shirelles. It rose to No. 4 on the UK charts, leading to its nomination as a "Sure Shot" pick of records not yet charted in the US by New York disc jockey "Dandy" Dan Daniel of WMCA radio in December 1963, preceding Beatlemania. It remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks, peaking at No. 12. The B-side, "Once Upon a Time", was written by Springfield. The release finished as No. 48 on New York's WABC radio Top 100 for 1964. On 1 January 1964 "I Only Want to Be with You" was one of the first songs played on Top of the Pops, BBC-TV's new music programme. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc in the UK.
    Springfield left the band after their final concert in October 1963.
    More Details Hide Details After the Springfields disbanded, Tom continued songwriting and producing for other artists, including Australian folk-pop group The Seekers, mid-1960s hits "I'll Never Find Another You" and "The Carnival is Over" (lyrics only), and he co-wrote their "Georgy Girl". He also wrote additional tracks for Springfield and released his own solo material.
    During early 1963, The Springfields recorded their last UK Top 5 hit, "Say I Won't Be There".
    More Details Hide Details The group appeared on ITV Associated Rediffusion's popular music TV series Ready Steady Go!
  • 1960
    Age 20
    In 1960, Springfield left The Lana Sisters and formed a pop-folk trio, The Springfields, with Tom and Reshad Feild (both ex-The Kensington Squares), who was replaced by Mike Hurst in 1962.
    More Details Hide Details The trio chose their name while rehearsing in a field in Somerset in the springtime and took the stage names of Dusty, Tom, and Tim Springfield. Intending to make an authentic US album, the group travelled to Nashville, Tennessee, to record Folk Songs from the Hills. The local music that Springfield heard during this visit, in particular "Tell Him," helped turn her style from folk and country towards pop music rooted in rhythm and blues. The band was voted the "Top British Vocal Group" by the New Musical Express poll in 1961 and 1962.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1939
    Born
    Born on April 16, 1939.
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