The woman who invented Blue-Eyed Soul!
Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien got her stage name Dusty Springfield by combining her childhood nickname Dusty with the name of her second band, The Springfields.
“Dusty” is the nickname she was given for playing football with the boys in the streets of London, effectively describing her as a tomboy.
Growing up in the 50s, listening to the radio and records by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, and singers like Peggy Lee, Dusty was set to embrace the 60s R&B sound that was emerging from America.
This was clearly on her mind as she left her first band, The Springfields who were more of a folk act. As she left in 1963, she had her eyes set on a more American sound, influenced by artists on Atlantic, Chess, and Motown, as well as Phil Spector’s production techniques.
Her first single, I Only Want To Be With You, was produced by Johnny Franz who aimed to replicate Phil Spector’s famed “Wall Of Sound” techniques. The single peaked at #4 in the U.K charts and sold over one million copies.
The following year, she released her debut A Girl Called Dusty which was mainly a covers album.
Dusty was big on singing other people’s songs and the same year she released Burt Bacharach’s I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself. This single peaked at #3 and would set the tone for what was to come.
In 1966, Dusty had her first #1 with You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, a song she heard in Italian and had the words rewritten by her friend Vicky Wickham and future manager, Simon Napier-Ball.
In 1968, Dusty release Dusty In Memphis, an album that had the iconic Son Of A Preacher Man on it.
In 1970, it earned Springfield a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Being a white middle-class girl from London, Dusty promoted and borrowed from the American 60s R&B/Soul genre. In doing so, she unknowingly invented a new genre dubbed Blue-Eyed Soul.
Son Of A Preacher Man – Chords & Guitar Lessons
Son Of A Preacher Man was first recorded and released by Dusty Springfield in 1968.
Since then, few artists have recorded their version, however, most have probably had it on their set list more than once.
Son Of A Preacher Man – Lyrics
Billy-Ray was a preacher’s son and when his daddy would visit he’d come along.
When they gathered around and started talkin’,
that’s when Billy would take me walkin’,
out through the back yard, we’d go walkin’.