April 16: Dusty Springfield Birthday


I’m the most misunderstood, misquoted person I know, honestly.
~Dusty Springfield

Britain’s greatest pop diva, …was also the finest white soul singer of her era, a performer of remarkable emotional resonance whose body of work spans the decades and their attendant musical transformations with a consistency and purity unmatched by any of her contemporaries…
~Jason Ankeny (allmusic.com)

Dusty Springfield. At The BBC. (55min):

A selection of Dusty Springfield’s performances at the BBC from 1961 to 1995.

dusty springfield

I just decided I wanted to become someone else… So I became someone else.
~Dusty Springfield

Definitely Dusty . Documentary. (58min):

Son of a preacher man (live):


Birth name Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien
Also known as Shan, Gladys Thong
Born 16 April 1939
West Hampstead, London, England
Origin Ealing, London, England
Died 2 March 1999 (aged 59)
Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England
Genres Pop, soul
Occupations Singer, arranger, musician, TV presenter
Instruments Voice, guitar, piano, percussion
Years active 1958–1995

Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien OBE (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 beehive hairstyle, evening gowns, and heavy makeup, made her an icon of the Swinging Sixties.


Born in West London to an Irish Catholic 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).

As a fan of US pop music, she brought many little-known soul singers to the attention of a wider UK record-buying audience by hosting the first national TV performance of many top-selling Motown artists beginning in 1965. Although never considered a Northern Soul artist in her own right, Springfield’s efforts contributed a great deal to the formation of the genre as a result.

Partly owing to these efforts, a year later she eventually became the best-selling female singer in the world and topped a number of popularity polls, including Melody Maker‘s Best International Vocalist. She was the first UK singer to top the New Musical Express readers’ poll for Female Singer.

To boost her credibility as a soul artist, Springfield went to Memphis, Tennessee, to record Dusty in Memphis, an album of pop and soul music, with the Atlantic Records main production team. Released in 1969, it has been ranked among the greatest albums of all time by the US magazine Rolling Stone and in polls by VH1 artists, New Musical Express readers, and Channel 4 viewers. The album was also awarded a spot in the Grammy Hall of Fame. After its release, Springfield experienced a career slump for several years. However, in collaboration with Pet Shop Boys, she returned to the Top 10 of the UK and US charts in 1987 with “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” Two years later, she had two other UK hits on her own with “Nothing Has Been Proved” and “In Private.” Subsequently in the mid 1990s, owing to the inclusion of “Son of a Preacher Man” on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, interest in her early output was revived.

dusty in memphis


  • inductee of both the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1999) and the UK Music Hall of Fame (2006)
  • She has been placed among the top 25 female artists of all time by readers of Mojo magazine (May 1999), editors of Q magazine (January 2002), and a panel of artists on VH1 TV channel (August 2007)
  • In 2008, Dusty appeared at No. 35 on the Rolling Stone‘s “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”
  • In the 1960s she topped a number of popularity polls, including Melody Maker‘s Best International Vocalist for 1966
  • in 1965 she was the first British singer to top the New Musical Express readers’ polls for Female Singer, and topped that poll again in 1966, 1967, and 1969 as well as gaining the most votes in the British Singer category from 1964 to 1966
  • Her album Dusty in Memphis has been listed among the greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone and in polls by VH1 artists, New Musical Express readers, and the Channel 4 viewers and in 2001, received the Grammy Hall of Fame award
  • In March 1999 Springfield was scheduled to go to Buckingham Palace to receive her award of Officer, Order of the British Empire. Due to the recurrence of the singer’s breast cancer, officials of Queen Elizabeth II gave permission for the medal to be collected earlier, in January, by Wickham and it was presented to Springfield in hospital with a small group of friends and relatives attending

You Don’t Have To Say You Love (live 1967):

Playlist of the day:

Other APR-16:

  • The Rolling Stones is the debut album by the Rolling Stones, released by Decca Records in the UK on 16 April 1964. The American edition of the LP, with a slightly different track list, came out on London Records on 30 May 1964, with the added title England’s Newest Hit Makers.
    Released 16 April 1964
    Recorded 3 January – 25 February 1964 at Regent Studios, London
    Genre Rock and roll, rhythm and blues
    Length 33:24
    Language English
    Label Decca
    Producer Eric Easton, Andrew Loog Oldham

    the rolling stones album 1964

  • When a Man Loves a Woman” is a song recorded by Percy Sledge in 1966 at Norala Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama. It made number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts. It was listed 54th in the List of Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time. The sidemen for this recording included Spooner Oldham, organ; Marlin Greene, guitar; Albert “Junior” Lowe, bass and Roger Hawkins, drums. The song is credited to Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, who played bass and keyboards with Sledge. However, the song was in fact written by Percy Sledge himself, but he gave it to Lewis and Wright.
    Released April 16, 1966
    Format 12″ vinyl
    Recorded February 17, 1966 in Sheffield, Alabama
    Genre R&B
    Length 2:51
    Label Atlantic
    Writer(s) Calvin Lewis, Andrew Wright
    Producer Marlin Greene, Quin Ivy
    Certification Gold (RIAA)