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Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (2) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (21) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 16 April 1939Hampstead, London, England, UK
Date of Death 2 March 1999Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, UK  (breast cancer)
Birth NameMary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien
Nickname The White Queen of Soul
Height 5' 3" (1.6 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Dusty Springfield has been acknowledged around the world as the best female soul singer that Britain ever produced. With her oddly erotic, throaty voice, she racked up a string of hits from the 1960s onwards. Born in London to Irish parents, Dusty grew up in and around London. Her early work included an all-girl trio, "The Lana Sisters" and, then, with her brother Tom Springfield (Dion O'Brien), The Springfields. Inspired by Phil Spector's "wall of sound", Dusty recorded her first pop song "I Only Want to Be with You" in 1963. It reached No. 4 in the charts and was the first song played on the new BBC TV pop show Top of the Pops (1964). The sixties brought a steady succession of top-ten hits and a lifestyle to match. However, Dusty used to campaign to get the little-known American soul singers a better audience in the United Kingdom which led to her own show Ready, Steady, Go!: The Sound of Motown (1965). In 1970, she moved to America and, although she attempted a few come-back tours, they never really worked. However, time in the studio did produce the seminal album, "Dusty in Memphis". A downward spiral of drugs and drink followed for most of the latter seventies but then she overcame these problems and, helped by lifelong fans "The Pet Shop Boys", came back with songs such as "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" and the album "Reputation". Cancer was diagnosed in 1994 and, although it was kept at bay for quite a while, it finally got her.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Dusty Springfield was an enormous cat lover. She left behind her twelve year old pet cat, Nicholas. She had suffered from drug and alcoholism during the seventies. She was the first person to bring the sound of Motown to England in her variety music show. She performed "Mockingbird" with Jimi Hendrix. She appeared as herself in An Audience with Dame Edna Everage (1980) in the eighties. The Pet Shop Boys were lifelong fans and wanted Dusty for their song, "What Have I Done to Deserve this?" in the eighties. Her album, "Dusty in Memphis", is considered by the music industry to be a very important album.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: anonymous

Trade Mark (3)

Blonde beehive hair and heavily mascara'd "panda" eyes
Oddly erotic throaty voice
Evening gowns

Trivia (21)

She was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to music in 1999, just before her death.
She was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio in 1999.
She admitted to her bisexuality in a 1972 interview.
She has Irish ancestry and she attended Catholic schools.
Parents were Gerard Anthony and Catherine Anne O'Brien.
She refused to perform concerts in South Africa before segregated audiences, as required by that country's apartheid system, and in fact was deported from South Africa in 1964 for performing before a racially mixed audience.
Part of her ashes were buried at Henley, the rest were scattered by her brother, Tom Springfield at the Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland.
Ranked #24 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
She was the very first artist to record The Carpenters' 1970 hit "(They Long to Be) Close to You", recording the track back in 1964 and intending it to be a follow-up to her #3 UK hit "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself". However, it was held back from release, but eventually issued on her 1967 album "Where Am I Going?", with the beginning intro edited out of the final cut. One year later, Dionne Warwick tried her hand at covering the song, but her version proved unsuccessful. The original mix of Dusty's version has only recently been released, on the UK 2-CD compilation "Classics & Collectibles".
In late 1967, she was having tremendous trouble charting hits in the United States, so when Nancy Sinatra passed up a chance to record one of Lee Hazlewood's compositions, Dusty "inherited" the song, and took the chance with open arms. However, despite the song not charting, it is still regarded as a now-hidden-treasure amongst Dusty criteria. The song was a theme to one of the most popular 1960s "youth" films, The Sweet Ride (1968), and was recorded in mid-to-late December 1967, then rerecorded on June 1, 1968, for single release. The song was "Sweet Ride".
Two takes were recorded of her #3 1964 UK hit, "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself": one being vocal (dynamic, well orchestrated and long) while the other proved to be of lesser stereo quality and was not received well critically, despite its high charting success. Legend has it that she was dissatisfied with the original powerful take of her now-infamous hit, and prompted producers to release the more bland version, due to her constant critiquing of her voice convincing herself the other was far too horrible to be issued. However, back in the late 1990s, the original and longer take of the song was released on the CD compilation ''The Burt Bacharach Songbook". It has since appeared once more on the recently-released 2-CD UK compilation "Classics & Collectibles".
Not related to Rick Springfield.
Her song "Don't Forget About Me" from her famous 1969 album "Dusty in Memphis" was actually recorded two years previously, on August 8, 1967, and was eliminated from the final cut of her 1967 album "Where Am I Going?". The sound of the original version is far from the Memphis sound, due to it being cut at Philips Studios in England. It boasts a very contemporary sound (much like a Burt Bacharach tune) and could very well been issued as a single.
"Where Am I Going?" is her most sought-after album, selling at anywhere from $60-$100 and up. It's also her only discontinued set on CD.
She was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame on November 14, 2006 for her outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture.
Vanessa Carlton portrayed her in an episode of American Dreams (2002).
Her alcoholism and drug addiction affected her musical career in the 1970s and early 1980s.
The name "Dusty" was given to her when she was a child, as she had been a tomboy in her early years.
Her actual debut on the US Pop charts came in the summer of 1962 with The Springfields' recording of "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" (#20 US Pop).
Upon visiting New York City in 1962, she heard The Exciters' recording of "Tell Him" playing in a record store. She was so impressed with the sound and recording style that it influenced her to begin a solo career with a Pop/Soul direction.
Longtime companion of Susan Cameron from 1972 to 1978 and longtime friend until her death in 1999.

Personal Quotes (4)

Hell, have I been a hell-raiser!
I couldn't stand to be thought of as a big butch lady. But I know that I'm as perfectly capable of being swayed by a girl as by a boy.
A lot of people say I'm bent, and I've heard it so many times that I've almost learned to accept it.
Basically I'm a drag queen myself.

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