Hailed as Britain’s “best ever pop singer” by Rolling Stone, the English-born Du…

Written by on April 16, 2018


Hailed as Britain’s “best ever pop singer” by Rolling Stone, the English-born Dusty Springfield charted several 1960s hits. Today is her birthday.

Dusty Springfield made her way into the heart of 1960s swinging London with the British trio The Springfields. Her solo hits include “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” (1966) and “Son of a Preacher Man” (1969). After a bout with drugs and alcohol, she saw her career resurrected with the 1987 Pet Shop Boys song “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” and the soundtrack to the 1988 film Scandal.

A British singer whose style and husky voice emulated the Motown sounds she adored, Dusty Springfield was born Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien on April 16, 1939, in London, England.

Her love of music came early. At a young age she teamed up with her older brother Dion, singing with him in their parents’ garage. They liked to record their collaboration and by the late 1950s had started performing together in front of live audiences.

In the early 1960s, after briefly joining a cabaret act called the Lana Sisters, Mary reunited with her brother to form a new group, The Springfields. Dion had started she moved to America in 1970. But her life only took on more struggles in her new home. Beset by drug issues and other personal problems, Springfield failed to capture the run of stardom she’d once enjoyed.

She did continue to record, and there were some isolated moments of success. In 1987 a whole new generation of music fans got to know her when she teamed up with the Pet Shop Boys for the single “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” Two years later, she again earned some radio airplay with the song “Nothing Has Been Prove” for the movie Scandal.

Springfield, who returned to England in the early 1990s, released her final studio album, A Very Fine Love, in 1995. That same year, she was diagnosed with cancer. From there on out, health problems were a constant in her life.

Still, her final years introduced a renewed interest in her work and career. In 1997, Mercury Records issued a 3-CD set, The Dusty Springfield Anthology Collection. Two years later, Rhino Records released a special edition of Dusty in Memphis.

In 1998 Springfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She passed away the following year from cancer, on March 2, 1999.

Happy Birthday Dusty. Wish you were still here.




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