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Dusty Springfield

West Hampstead, England (1939 – 1999)

Dusty Springfield (born Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien on 16 April 1939 – died 2 March 1999) was a British pop singer. Of the female artists of the british invasion, Springfield made the biggest impression on the U.S. market. From 1963 to 1970, she scored 18 singles in the Billboard Hot 100. She was voted the Top British Female Artist by readers of New Musical Express in 1964, 1965, and 1968. Springfield is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the UK Music Hall of Fame. She was named among the 25 female rock artists of all time by readers of Mojo magazine (1999), editors of Q magazine (2002), and a panel of artists on the TV channel VH1 (2007).

Dusty was born in West Hampstead, England to an Irish family and was raised in the West London borough of Ealing. The name “Dusty” was given to her when she was a child, as she had been a tomboy in her early years. Dusty was brought up listening to a wide range of music, including George Gershwin, Rogers and Hart, Rogers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller. She was a fan of American Jazz and the music of Peggy Lee, with a desire to sound like her. Her tax consultant father used to tap out rhythms on the back of her hand, encouraging young Dusty to guess the musical piece. At age 11, Dusty went into a local record shop in Ealing and made her first record, the Irving Berlin song “When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam”.


Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien, OBE (16 April 1939 – 2 March 1999), known as Dusty Springfield, was a leading pop singer and entertainer. Of all the female British pop artists of the 1960s, she made one of the biggest impressions on the U.S. market. Owing to her distinctive sensual sound, she was one of the most notable white soul artists.

Born to an Irish Roman Catholic family that loved music, Mary O'Brien learned to sing at home. Dusty Springfield began her solo career in 1963 with the upbeat pop hit "I Only Want To Be With You". Her following singles charted on both sides of the Atlantic: "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself", "Wishin' and Hopin'", and "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" . A fan of American pop music, she campaigned to bring the little-known soul singers to a wider U.K. audience by devising and hosting the first British performances of the top-selling Motown Records artists in 1965. Her song "The Look of Love", written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was featured in the film Casino Royale and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song in 1967.

The sudden changes of pop music in the mid-1960s left girl singers out of fashion. To boost her credibility as a soul artist, Dusty Springfield went to Memphis, Tennessee to record an album of pop and soul music with the Atlantic Records' main production team. The LP Dusty in Memphis earned Springfield a nomination for a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1970 and received the Grammy Hall of Fame award in 2001. International readers and viewers polls list the record among the one hundred greatest albums of all time. The LP's standout track "Son of a Preacher Man" was an international Top 10 hit in 1969. Springfield's low period after the album ended in 1987, when collaborations with the Pet Shop Boys returned her to the Top 20 of the U.K. and U.S. charts with the singles "What Have I Done to Deserve This?", "Nothing Has Been Proved", and "In Private". In 1995, Dusty Springfield was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Dusty Springfield scored 18 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964–1970. She was voted the Top British Female Artist in the New Musical Express reader's poll in 1964, 1965, and 1968. Interest in her early output was revived in 1994, due to the inclusion of "Son of a Preacher Man" on the soundtrack of the Quentin Tarantino movie, Pulp Fiction. She is an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the UK Music Hall of Fame. Dusty Springfield has been named among the best 25 female rock artists of all time in several international readers and artists polls.

50s, 60s Hits

I Only Want To Be With You
Son Of A Preacher Man
Wishin And Hopin
You Dont Have To Say You Love Me

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