Dusty Springfield

Born 16 April 1939. Died 2 March 1999.
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The origins of Dusty in Memphis

David Hepworth and Johnnie Walker look at the troubled beginnings of Dusty in Memphis.

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Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien (16 April 1939 – 2 March 1999), known professionally as Dusty Springfield, was an English pop singer and record producer 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. She is a member of both the US Rock and Roll and UK Music Halls of Fame. International polls have named Springfield among the best female rock artists of all time. Her image, supported by a peroxide blonde bouffant hairstyle, evening gowns, and heavy make-up, made her an icon of the Swinging Sixties.

Born in West Hampstead, London to a family that enjoyed music, Springfield learned to sing at home. In 1958 she joined her first professional group, The Lana Sisters, and two years later formed a pop-folk vocal trio, The Springfields, with her brother Tom. Her solo career began in 1963 with the upbeat pop hit, "I Only Want to Be with You". Among the hits that followed were "Wishin' and Hopin'" (1964), "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself" (1964), "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" (1966), and "Son of a Preacher Man" (1968).

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Goin’ Back: The Definitive Dusty Springfield

    Goin’ Back: The Definitive Dusty Springfield 2011

    Reviewed by David Quantick
    A fantastic, deluxe collection from one of pop’s greatest ever vocalists.
  2. Review of Dusty In Memphis

    Dusty In Memphis 2006

    Reviewed by Peter Marsh
    The songs (all by Brill building denizens) are all top notch, and Springfield's...
  3. Review of Classics and Collectibles

    Classics and Collectibles 2004

    Reviewed by Cormac Heron
    ..upon hearing these tunes one is reminded of what makes a classic a classic...
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