March is Women’s History Month and we will be covering incredible women in music all month long! ♥️
Today, it’s Dusty Springfield. The sultry-voiced pop singer was a British icon in the 60s and her album, Dusty in Mephis, was named one of the best albums of all time by Rolling Stone. ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ has gone down in history as one of the greatest British pop songs EVER. 🎶
Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien (her stage name being Dusty Springfield) was born in 1939 and reached her musical peak in the 1960s. She was an artist who existed outside the many boxes media outlets portrayed her in. From pop ballads to jazz and country, you always knew you were going to hear something fresh and interesting. Her solo career really began to take off in 1963 with the upbeat record ‘I Only Want to Be with You’. It was the first of her six big top 40 hits in the 1960s alongside ‘Stay Awhile’, ‘All I See Is You’, ‘I’ll Try Anything’, ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’ and ‘Son of a Preacher Man’.
She was also a fixture on British television. On the hit show Ready Set Go! she made regular appearances spanning between 1963-66. She would then go on to host her own BBC show for three years which pushed her into an incredible 70’s as one of the worlds biggest pop stars. Dusty Springfield was also, in her own way, a standout figure in the LGBT community at the time. She was never reported to be in a heterosexual relationship and as such, the question of her sexuality was often raised.
“Many other people say I’m bent, and I’ve heard it so many times that I’ve almost learned to accept it … I know I’m perfectly as capable of being swayed by a girl as by a boy. More and more people feel that way and I don’t see why I shouldn’t.”
By mid 1996, Springfield was deep in her battle with breast cancer that included an initial diagnosis in 1994, a period of remission and the return of cancer. Despite vigorous treatments, she would die on March 2nd, 1999 just before her 60th birthday. Two weeks following her death she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Her dear friend, Elton John, inducted her and said,
“I’m biased, but I just think she was the greatest white singer there ever has been … every song she sang, she claimed as her own.”
What other incredible women in music should we cover in the month of March? Let us know!