Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dusty Springfield - First Lady Of British Pop And Soul

Catherine O'Brien OBE, better known by her stage name Dusty Springfield (April 16, 1939 - March 2, 1999) is regarded as the United Kingdom's First Lady Of Pop And Soul.

Her illustrious musical career stretched from the late 1950s to the 1990s.

She is one of the most successful British female performers, with 18 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 from 1964 to 1970.

She is a member of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and the UK Music Hall Of Fame.

International polls have named Springfield among the best female rock artistes of all time.

Born in West London (Ealing) to an Irish Catholic family, Springfield joined The Lana Sisters in 1958, then formed the pop-folk vocal trio The Springfields in 1960 with her brother Dion (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).

A fan of American pop music, she was the first public figure to bring little-known soul singers to a wider British audience, when she created and hosted the first British performances of the top-selling Motown artistes in 1965.

By 1966, she was 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 British singer to top the New Musical Express readers' poll for Female Singer.

Her image, supported by a peroxide blonde beehive hairstyle, evening gowns and heavy make-up, made her an icon of the Swinging Sixties.

To boost her credibility as a soul artiste, Springfield went to Memphis, Tennessee, to record an album of pop and soul music with the Atlantic Records production team.

Released in 1969, Dusty In Memphis has been ranked among the greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone and VH1 artistes, New Musical Express readers and the Channel 4 viewers polls.

The album was also awarded a spot in the Grammy Hall Of Fame.

She returned to the Top 20 of the British and American charts in collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys on the songs What Have I Done To Deserve This?, Nothing Has Been Proved and In Private.

Interest in Springfield's early output was revived in 1994 due to the inclusion of Son Of A Preacher Man on the soundtrack of the movie Pulp Fiction.

Springfield was a lifelong friend of Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng.

She succumbed to breast cancer in 1999. Her ashes were scattered on the Cliffs Of Moher in County Clare, Ireland.

American singer and songwriter Shelby Lynne's album Just A Little Lovin' (2008) is a tribute to Springfield.

A stage musical based on her life, Dusty – The Original Pop Diva premiered in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia.

Wikipedia, Google and Yahoo.