by Robert Wilkinson
Dusty would have been 78 today. Tonight we celebrate this awesome talent’s life and music. We have great videos of this legendary Diva!
Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brian, known to the world as Dusty Springfield (16 April 1939 – 2 March 1999), was one of the greatest female soul voices ever to grace our planet. Icon of the 60s, Dusty’s look and voice, a peroxide blond bouffant hairdo in heavy makeup belting out soaring ballads, made her one of the greatest dramatic musical performers of all time. So today we remember and celebrate one of the best of the best. Gone, but not that gone, since she'll never be forgotten!
We’ll begin this tribute with her extraordinary breakthrough hit written by another legend, Ivor Raymonde, from January 1964, “I Only Want To Be With You”
For your further enjoyment, I found this video clip of her very live performance on the Sullivan Show, with absolutely NO lip-synching, “I Only Want To Be With You” This one’s worth seeing!
From American Bandstand, May 1964, Dusty performing her second huge hit of that year (to a backing track). Also written by Ivor Raymonde, the powerful “Stay Awhile”
This clip looks like it’s from “Ready Steady Go,” where she’s lip-synching in a “live” performance of “Stay Awhile”
Live on the BBC Saturday Club radio show, this is a great “live in the studio” performance! No lip synching going on here! “Stay Awhile”
Here’s the studio version of her next major follow-up hit, a Bert Bacharach composition from the Summer of 1964 “Wishin’ and Hopin’”
An interesting clip that claims to be PBS, but is actually the Shivaree television show in LA in 1965. Gene Weed’s trumpet lip synch is absurd! Here’s Dusty live with a backing track giving us “Wishin’ and Hopin’”
From 1966, live on television to a backing track, Dusty giving us another Bert Bacharach tune she made into a hit in 1964, “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself”
We'll now take a quick trip to the past. Here’s the hit that introduced her magnificent voice to the world! From 1962, the studio version of the Springfields (Dusty, her brother Tom, and Mike Hurst) giving us “Silver Threads and Golden Needles”
From their 1961 BBC television show, here are the Springfields live in a skit to their tune “Ballin’ the Jack” and from 1962, here they are actually performing a tune that would have been classic Nashville if they’d been a US group! “Island of Dreams”
Here’s another extraordinary live television performance by the Springfields, all acoustic and exquisite harmonies giving us “One Note Samba” and “Island of Dreams”
Now we move into Dusty at her greatest!
First, from 1967, Dusty cranking out one of my favorites, taking on the infinitely danceable Martha and the Vandellas hit “Heat Wave”
Speaking of Martha Reeves, here’s Dusty and Martha in 1965 on the “Ready Steady Go” Motown special, giving us a duet of “Wishin’ and Hopin’”
From 1967, Dusty in a live performance of her song from “Casino Royale,” another song written by the legendary Bert Bacharach, “the Look of Love”
I found this great live performance on television from 1968 of Dusty offering up her hit from "Dusty in Memphis," “Son of A Preacher Man”
Here’s an iconic live television performance from the 60s by Dusty of her huge hit “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”
From much later, a 1979 performance at the Royal Albert Hall of “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me”
From her television show It Must Be Dusty, a real score! Here's Dusty in a duet with the Jimi (backed as only the Jimi Hendrix Experience could - wow!) doing the classic "Mockingbird" (Sorry the video is so lousy, but it's an amazing duet!) Here's a shorter one in color, better video shot straight off the television! Jimi and Dusty - "Mockingbird"
From the same 1968-69 television series, some audio-only performances!
From 1969, Dusty giving us a few great songs, including “Nowhere To Run, Nowhere to Hide”! Dusty Springfield on the Tom Jones Show
From a different Tom Jones Show, a duet! “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me”
From 1970, here’s a television performance with Dusty and Engelbert Humperdinck giving us “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” From what looks to be the same television show, “I Wanna Be A Free Girl” and "Everybody Gets To Go To The Moon"
From the Rolf Harris show in 1971, a live video performance of "Knowing When to Leave" and "Up On The Roof"
With Bobby Darin on his tv show in 1973, a great duet doing the Motown classic “Baby I Need Your Lovin’”
Here’s an exquisite offering by the Lady of “Think It’s Gonna Rain Today”
From 1980 on the Toni Tenille television show, a strong delivery of the Ike and Tina arrangement of John Fogerty’s iconic “Proud Mary”
Here’s one of her last hits, done with the Pet Shop Boys, “What Have I Done To Deserve This”
We’ll close this dance with three studio albums. The first is considered a masterpiece to this day, a classic of white soul by one of the greatest!! For your listening pleasure, the full 33 minute album from 1969 Dusty in Memphis
A long one with all her best! Here’s a full hour and 43 of the divine Ms. Dusty! Dusty Springfield – Greatest Hits
Here’s another great playlist, with Dusty doing covers of pop hits of other artists! Dusty Does Pop Hits
For your viewing pleasure, here’s a great one hour BBC documentary! Last year it was all in one clip, but this year it’s been broken into pieces.
It seems that Part 5 is not available in the US. If you’re in another country, go to you tube and plug in the title “Definitely Dusty Pt. 5” and see if you can get to it.
For our first encore, yet another hour of the birthday Lady performing for us! Dusty Live at the BBC - 1966
For our second encore, another hour and 31 of the birthday Lady performing for us! Dusty Live at the BBC - 1967 (This one’s really good!)
And for our last encore, we’ll close this show with a great live television performance on Aspel and Company in 1989 of her breakthrough tune, delivered by the immortal Dusty Springfield! This one has a live chorus, three violins, and big brass section! “I Only Want To Be with You”
You were and are the best of blue eyed Soul! Thanks for being here, Dusty. You were awesome!
© Copyright 2017 Robert Wilkinson