Dusty Springfield Biography

Dusty unknowingly invented Blue-Eyed Soul


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Dusty Springfield Documentary

Dusty Springfield

Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien got her stage name Dusty Springfield by combining her childhood nickname Dusty with the name of her second band, The Springfields.

“Dusty” is the nickname she was given for playing football with the boys in the streets of London, effectively describing her as a tomboy.

Growing up in the 50s, listening to the radio and records by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and singers like Peggy Lee, Dusty was set to embrace the 60s R&B sound that was emerging from America.

This was clearly on her mind as she left her first band, The Springfields who were more of a folk act. As she left in 1963, she had her eyes set on a more American sound, influenced by artists on Atlantic, Chess, and Motown, as well as Phil Spector’s production techniques.

Her first single ‘I Only Want To Be With You’, was produced by Johnny Franz who aimed to replicate Phil Spector’s famed “Wall Of Sound” techniques. The single peaked at #4 in the U.K charts and sold over one million copies.

The following year, she released her debut ‘A Girl Called Dusty’ which was mainly a covers album.

Dusty was big on singing other peoples songs and the same year she released Burt Bacharach’s ‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself’. This single peaked at #3 and would set the tone for what was to come.

In 1966, Dusty had her first #1 with ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’, a song she heard in Italian and had the words rewritten by her friend Vicky Wickham and future manager, Simon Napier-Ball.

During this time, Dusty was also presenting a TV show called The Sound Of Motown on British TV, effectively promoting artists like Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and Mary Wells to a UK audience.

In 1968 Dusty release ‘Dusty In Memphis’, an album that had the iconic ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ on it.

In 1970, it earned Springfield a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

Being a white middle-class girl from London, Dusty promoted and borrowed from the American 60s R&B/Soul genre. In doing so, she unknowingly invented a new genre dubbed Blue-Eyed Soul.

Related Pages

Son Of A Preacher Man – Guitar Lesson

‘Son Of A Preacher Man’ was first recorded and released by Dusty Springfield in 1968. Since then, few artists have recorded their version, however, most have probably had it on their setlist more than once!

As one of the most famous songs of its time, this is a must to learn if you want to play with a soul band.

In the course, I take you through all sections individually before you get the play the entire song with a live band.

Preview video lessons: Son Of A Preacher Man

Son Of A Preacher Man – Lyrics

Billy-Ray was a preacher’s son and when his daddy would visit he’d come along
When they gathered around and started talkin’
That’s when Billy would take me walkin’
Out through the back yard, we’d go walkin’
Then he’d look into my eyes

For complete lyrics, go to Son Of A Preacher Man lyrics.

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