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Dusty Springfield

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Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield (April 16, 1939March 2, 1999) was an English singer, regarded by many as one of the finest white soul singers of all time. She was born in Hampstead, London as Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, and was a fan of Peggy Lee from an early age.

Her first professional musical group was the Lana Sisters, who issued a few singles. Later, she and her brother, Dion, and Tim Field formed The Springfields, a folk trio. O'Brien took the name Dusty Springfield after forming the group, which soon became a popular act in Britain with singles such as "Breakaway", "Bambino" and their biggest hit "Island of Dreams". By 1962, the Springfields had some success in the United States with "Silver Threads and Golden Needles".

The Springfields travelled to Nashville, Tennessee. Dusty was so enamoured of Motown, particularly the girl groups, that she left the Springfields to pursue a solo career in soul music. Her first single was "I Only Want to Be With You", which was a success in both Britain and the United States. This was followed by a series of classic and successful singles, including "Wishin' and Hopin'", "Anyone Who Had a Heart"', "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself", "Stay Awhile" and "All Cried Out". Springfield recorded a number of Bacharach-David compositions, including "The Look of Love" (from the 1967 movie Casino Royale, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Original Song in 1967.)

By 1964, Springfield was one of the biggest solo artists of her day. She created a controversy when she refused to play in front of a segregated crowd in South Africa. In 1965, Springfield began hosting The Sound of Motown, a British TV show which introduced Motown and American soul music to British audiences. Meanwhile, she released such classic singles as "Losing You", "Your Hurtin' Kinda Love" and "In the Middle of Nowhere", culminating in the huge hit, "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me".

With the rise of psychedelic music in the late 1960s, Springfield was rapidly becoming unhip at a time when hipness was very important. She signed with Atlantic Records and recorded an album in Memphis, Tennessee with producers Jerry Wexler, Arif Mardin and Tom Dowd. The album, Dusty in Memphis, is her magnum opus and is still regarded as one of the best soul albums of all time. The album is best known for "Son of a Preacher Man", which was a hit in both the United Kingdom and the United States, though the album itself was a flop. A Brand New Me (1970) was just as unsuccessful commercially, though also a critical darling. A third album for the Atlantic label, produced by Jeff Barry, was abandoned due to unsuccessful single releases. Similarly, her next album, See All Her Faces (1972), released in Britain, followed the same pattern. In 1973 Springfield signed to the ABC Dunhill Records label which resulted in the album Cameo in (1973). The following year she began to record another album for the label titled Longing; however, the project had to be abandoned due to the vocalist's failing mental health.

Springfield put her career on hold during the mid-1970s, though she did work with Anne Murray, and focused on solving long-time problems with substance abuse. She continued to release critically lauded but commercially unsuccessful albums and singles throughout the late 1970s for the United Artists Records label, resulting in the albums It Begins Again (1978) and Living Without Your Love (1979). During this time Springfield rarely charted and soon drifted from popular view. She ended this period by releasing two final singles for her British label Mercury Records. She was virtually forced to do so due to the lack of success of her previous albums. The singles were "Baby Blue", a disco number that charted in the top 70, and "Your Love Still Brings Me to My Knees", the singer's swan song for a company she had been with in various forms for 20 years.

In the 1980s, Springfield wanted to forget the 1970s and start afresh. She signed a deal with 20th Century Records, which resulted in a flop of a single, "It Goes Like It Goes". She then began to record an album for the company entitled White Heat (1982). The album was critically acclaimed; however, the record company folded, and the LP was put on limited release in the USA and Canada only. Springfield tried again in 1985 by signing to Peter Stringfellow's Hippodrome Records label, which resulted in a single called "Sometimes Like Butterflies". The song was released against Springfield's wishes with a practice vocal recorded while she had laryngitis. The singer left the label in response.

Springfield's fortunes changed in 1987, when she released a duet with the Pet Shop Boys called "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" The song charted all over the world and renewed interest in her music. She capitalised on her new fans by releasing Reputation, which was a best-selling album. She was diagnosed with breast cancer after releasing A Very Fine Love and died after a remission in 1999. Ten days after her death, Dusty Springfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.de:Dusty Springfield fr:Dusty Springfield nl:Dusty Springfield pl:Dusty Springfield sv:Dusty Springfield

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