10/6/14 O&A Throwback Thursday: Dusty Springfield

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Dusty Springfield was born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien on  April 16 1939. She was an English pop singer and record producer whose career extended from the late 1950s to the 1990s. Springfield was renowned for her distinctive sensual sound, and was dubbed “the blue-eyed soul singer“.


At her peak Springfield one of the most successful British female performers. She had 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.


Dusty Springfield recorded the Burt Bacharach and Hal 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. David’s lyrics epitomized longing and, yes, lust. 

The 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.


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?, the English version What Do You Know?, but failed to qualify for the final. 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.


In November 1968 the lead single from the album, Son of a Preacher Man, was issued. It was written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins and the song reached No. 10 on the UK, US and international singles charts. It earned Springfield a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1970.

The song was originally offered to Aretha Franklin, but she turned it down. Springfield recorded this hit at American Studios, Memphis, Tennessee.


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