Dusty and The Springfields

springf studio

Dusty interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdIIP7QOs6o [part 2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k8hbAT4fd0

Photo above: Dusty Springfield in studio with Johnny Moran and a sound engineer when developing her solo act [1963]

Definitely Dusty [part one] features Dusty’s first recording at age 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM8gSyDKcNA [BBC2 1999] Where Is A Woman To Go? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htKms09CVJw

Nowhere To Run: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KYpjPbKBqU&list=RD9jyq2Hn7JF0&index=18 Mocking Bird: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8HejYMWdoA&list=RD9jyq2Hn7JF0&index=2 Dusty Springfield fan page: http://dustyspringfield.nu/


Sixties Superstar Dusty Springfield: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BtVpPfbyQo

Provided by John Rennie whose band, Apaches, shared a bill with them in Rothes Hall besides the Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen

John Rennie was glad to share the bill with The Springfields in 1961 and asked Dusty, Tom, and Tim Field to autograph his diary though they all wrote “The Springfields” Tim left the group the following year of this tour when his wife “developed a serious medical condition” http://www.billboard.com/artist/419179/springfields/biography

The Springfields first tour Scotland in 1961 [Northern Scot]

The Springfields with a new member return to Elgin 1962

John who played with several who gained notoriety in the music business, compared Dusty’s personality with that of Sandy Shaw and Emile Ford [and The Checkmates who shared a pop line-up with The Beatles in Scotland].  They were take-charge individuals who “knew exactly what was to be done” and Dusty was the “master of the situation” according to John Rennie. John. who was a teenager at the time, remembers speaking with the Springfields though Dusty as quiet and a bit “stand-offish” thought polite to the lad. In a later interview, Dusty said that she was “shy around people” though of course it was a different story when performing. She had high demands on herself and those around her.

Promoter Albert Bonici was on holiday the second time The Springfields performed at Elgin’s Two Red Shoes Ballroom [September 1962]. His youngest sister, Rosanna, remembered sitting in Albert’s upstairs flat waiting for Dusty to usher her into the stage area at the top of the stairs next to the flat. Her 10 month old baby was crying when Dusty reached the landing and came in to comfort Rosanna’s son by holding his hand and singing a lullaby. He stopped crying and looked curiously at Dusty “though didn’t fall asleep”.  On that evening, Eurovision winner, Donna Douglas, was promoting her winning tune, Message In A Bottle to a cheering crowd: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h4QrO1QwF0

When it came to her music and performance, Dusty was in control even in the beginning of her career with The Springfields, letting the guys know what she expected. It was observed that Dusty didn’t look pleased by the response from exuberant crowd [TRS held 3-400] over the opening act which likely played into Dusty’s opening night nerves.  Donna may have been seen as competition for The Springfields, who were also on tour with their own recordings. More on Donna Douglas at: https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/two-red-shoes-album-2/.

Also, after speaking with Aberdeen promoter Gordon Hardie several years ago, he gave me a copy of an audio CD speaking about promoting in Scotland in the sixties including meeting Dusty Springfield, Mick Jagger, and The Beatles… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfEVUzUBiZU https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/eulogy-for-gordon-hardie/

Dusty toured the north of Scotland [October 1961 and September 1962] under contract with Albert Bonici. In september ’62, they sang a few of their newest recordings including Little Boats: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=-uzIhlYCpJY  Silver Threads and Golden Needles [Dusty and Tom Springfield with Mike Hurst]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HRH1tA_bDM and Island of Dreams:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilqKtJrs12w

Going Back [Dusty Springfield 1966]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqlB-vcQvjc&list=RDyqlB-vcQvjc#t=55

Dusty became known as a single act when she became known in the States. She is sometimes credited for launching the “British Invasion” before the Beatles debuted on the Ed Sullivan Show [similar to Britain’s “Sunday Night At The Palladium”. http://www.dustyspringfield.org.uk/LTD/index.php/life/dusty-springfield-a-biography In 1963, Dusty spoke with the Beatles https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/beatles-tour-scotland/ on British television.

“Singer Dusty Springfield interviewed the Beatles on their first-ever appearance on the British television program ‘Ready Steady Go!’ on October 4th 1963. As part of this appearance, the Beatles also performed ‘Twist And Shout’, ‘I’ll Get You’ and ‘She Loves You’. Ready Steady Go! was one of the first teenage-pop television shows in Britain. At the time of this particular appearance, the program was still in its first season. Early episodes of the program featured Springfield as the interviewer and presenter. Ready Steady Go! was on the air for just four seasons from 1963-1966 and featured the biggest names of the day, also including the Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, The Who, and Van Morrison to name but a few.

Dusty Springfield had a respectable career of her own that was just getting off the ground in late 1963. Springfield’s recording of the song ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ went gold in Britain. Her string of pop hits continued into the mid-sixties, hitting the charts in the UK as well as the United States and beyond.As a bit of trivia, Michael Lindsay-Hogg who directed the Beatles final movie ‘Let It Be’ was also one of the directors for the Ready Steady Go! program.Ready Steady Go! was produced by Rediffusion Television for ITV.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vl1OH2dXwg– Jay Spangler, http://www.beatlesinterviews.org

Short videos of Dusty’s career: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw6Y6RZHiOA



The Springfields on a 15 minute television program [circa 1961] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Springfields  Before forming the Springfields, Dusty was part of the Lana Sisters. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lana_Sisters  “Just wanted to clarify that the Lana Sisters date in Bradford in April ’63 – the same month the Springfields played there – was for a Dusty-less lineup of the group. It’s quite remarkable that the Lanas were still getting high-profile gigs in ’63 as they don’t appear to have had any record label affiliation since ’60 when Dusty left the group – perhaps being the group Dusty left behind to find stardom in the Springfields gave the Lanas some cachet. Original Lana Sister Riss Chantelle re-emerged with another female trio the Chantelles in ’65 so it’s likely that she continued in the music business & likely as a Lana Sister during the 1960-65 period but I can’t find any confirmation of either she or Lynne Abrams – the other original member – performing as Lana Sisters after Dusty’s departure.” [Sweetbaby: Let’s Talk Dusty] http://http://www.dustyspringfield.org.uk/ltd…/PDF/…/Springfields_or_Lana_Sisters_dates.pdf

Aileen Allan was AA Bonici’s secretary in Elgin

Digitized from original contract of The Springfields first tour of Scotland. Besides composer/musician Tom Springfield who formed the band with sister Mary “Dusty”Springfield, Tim Field was part of the original line-up In 1960, the Springfield were represented by Welsh manager, Emlyn Griffith who is said to have “emulated comedian Fred Emney by dressing like a toff and wearing a monocle… When Griffith booked them with Butlins Holiday Camps the band traveled up and down the country in a clapped-out Volkswagen camper van, frequently breaking down and hitching lifts from truck drivers to get them and their equipment to their destination… By the autumn of 1960, the Springfields were ready to play to more appreciative audiences.” [Brit Girls on the Sixties Volume One – Dusty Springfield & Helen Shapiro – By David Bret] Dusty Obituary: https://www.theguardian.com/news/1999/mar/04/guardianobituaries

Impressed with the feedback on Dusty’s 1961 tour, Albert Bonici seeks to get a return engagement for The Springfields.

Correspondence between Jack Fallon and AA Bonici concerning The Springfields’ 1962 tour of Scotland. Her newest hit at the time [September 1962] was “Silver Threads and Golden Needles”

Plans made regarding Springfield tour in north of Scotland

The Springfields sought to be released from their september tour but made an appearance as the opportunity to do a television program in the States is cancelled after Tim Fields leaves the group when his wife becomes ill. Mike Hurst takes his place.

springfields photo

Those who played in the small halls in the north of Scotland would perform for a modest fee and The Springfields were no exception

Island of Dreams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilqKtJrs12w

In 1962, Albert was bringing acts to the north of Scotland for a week's tour [usually 5 gigs]. Note: after the Beatles tour in 1963, tours were extended to 10 days.

In 1962, Albert was bringing acts to the north of Scotland for a week’s tour ending with a larger venue in Aberdeen managed by Aberdeen promoter, Gordon Hardie. Note: Under LCB Agency, tours were often spread over 10 days though acts performed up to 8 gigs.

Gordon Hardie diary entry as he was responsible for setting up accommodations besides transportation under LCB Agency [Albert Bonici] when The Springfields came back to Scotland

The Springfields finished their brief Scottish tour in Aberdeen September 1962

Apparently their were some legal issues with The Springfields in 1963

The final entry in Gordon Hardie’s diaries when he, Andy Lothian and organizer/promoter Albert Bonici hosted Dusty Springfield in the north of Scotland when she was a solo act

Dusty visits the north of Scotland as a single act as part of a pop package – March 1964

The line up in Aberdeen's Capitol Cinema was set by Kennedy agency and booked for one event by AA Bonici and A Lothian. https://www.flickr.com/photos/bradford_timeline/sets/72157626215933908/

The line up in Aberdeen’s Capitol Cinema was set by Kennedy Street Enterprises and booked for one event by AA Bonici and A Lothian. https://www.flickr.com/photos/bradford_timeline/sets/72157626215933908/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/29/meet-the-searchers/

The Springfields played at the Two Red Shoes in Elgin 31 Oct 1961 and again on 27 Sep 1962/ Working with Dundee promoter Andy Lothian and Aberdeen promoter, Gordon Hardie, Mr. Bonici brought Dusty back to Aberdeen for one of his “pop packages”. The memo above [august 1962] indicates that the publicity photos came along last minute. On the 26th of September, Bonici called them “The Famous Vocal Group” in a newspaper advert. They had been voted Top British group in 1961 and ’62 and first British vocal group to have a top hit single in the USA [April 1962]. Gordon Hardie, an associate of Albert Bonici, related an awkward moment with Dusty Springfield when as he was driving her to a gig at Bonici’s request. He questioned why an attractive young woman like her didn’t have boyfriend (not understanding that she was a lesbian or considering it). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfEVUzUBiZU   The Springfields were given an option to cancel their Scottish tour at the time as Dusty had an opportunity to go to the States [Sep/62] but by the following year, she was a household name across the western countries [including Australia]. When she toured South Africa, she was considered controversial for attracting black and white audiences in  a country whose government sought to divide races. http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/11931105.1964_1988__pop_in_protest/

Wishin’ and Hopin’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAdTsAKvVTU

‘”Britain’s greatest pop diva, Dusty Springfield was also the finest white soul singer of her era, a performer of remarkable emotional resonance whose body of work spans the decades and their attendant musical transformations with a consistency and purity unmatched by any of her contemporaries” http://www.allmusic.com/artist/dusty-springfield-mn0000159214/biography Ballin’ The Jack [1961] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDYQOdN3FG4   Island Of Dreams [1962] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhF-Mqn-HEQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFZBFw-b9Vw Son Of A Preacher Man [1968] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp4339EbVn8 ‘A British singer whose style and husky voice emulated the Motown sounds she adored, Dusty Springfield was born Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien on April 16, 1939, in London, England. Her love of music came early. At a young age she teamed up with her older brother Dion, singing with him in their parents’ garage. They liked to record their collaboration and by the late 1950s had started performing together in front of live audiences. In the early 1960s, after briefly joining a cabaret act called the Lana Sisters, Mary reunited with her brother to form a new group, The Springfields. Dion had started working with another vocalist, Tim Field, and inspired by his last name, the trio took on the name, The Springfields. In addition, the siblings adopted stage names for themselves. Mary came to be known as Dusty Springfield, and her brother as Tom Springfield.The group’s style, folksy with the kind of poppy sound that would later drive Beatlemania, hit at just the right time. The Springfields recorded several Top Five British hits, such as “Island of Dreams” (1962) and “Say I Won’t Be There” (1963). They even enjoyed some American notice—something rare for British groups at that point—with the 1962 release of “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3SgjjTqdyM  which reached No. 20 on the U.S. charts.’ http://www.biography.com/people/dusty-springfield-9491157#awesm=~oG2N6pd67awRHM “After finishing school, Springfield sang with Tom in local folk clubs. In 1957 the pair worked together at holiday camps. The following year Springfield responded to an advertisement in The Stage to join The Lana Sisters, an “established sister act”… She had changed her name to Shan, and “cut her hair, lost the glasses, experimented with makeup, fashion” to become one of the ‘sisters’.  As a member of the pop vocal trio, Springfield developed skills in harmonising and microphone technique and recorded, performed on TV, and played at live shows in the United Kingdom and at United States Air Force bases in continental Europe. In 1960, Springfield left The Lana Sisters and formed a pop-folk trio, The Springfields, with Tom and Reshad Feild (both ex-The Kensington Squares), who was replaced by Mike Hurst in 1962. The trio chose their name while rehearsing in a field in Somerset in the springtime and took the stage names of Dusty, Tom, and Tim Springfield. Intending to make an authentic US album, the group travelled to Nashville, Tennessee, to record Folk Songs from the Hills. The local music that Springfield heard during this visit, in particular “Tell Him,” helped turn her style from folk and country towards pop music rooted in rhythm and blues. The band was voted the “Top British Vocal Group” by the New Musical Express poll in 1961 and 1962. During early 1963, The Springfields recorded their last UK Top 5 hit, “Say I Won’t Be There”. The group appeared on ITV Associated Rediffusion’s popular music TV series Ready Steady Go!. Springfield left the band after their final concert in October 1963.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dusty_Springfield Dusty had drinking and drug problems throughout the 1970’s and sang back-up for other singers before a “comeback” with a collaboration with The Pet Shop Boys with “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”‘ [1987] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kybLYEk3nVY&feature=kp and “Nothing Has Been Proved” [1989] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZip7Y_IDqQ “Daydreaming”[from Reputation] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlXmclEYWpI [1990]. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+secret+life+of+Dusty+Springfield.-a054492600 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/event/article-2662529/Dusty-Springfield-Fist-fights-lesbian-lover-multiple-suicide-attempts.html



My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. Growing up a few miles from San Francisco, I would frequent the active music scene on weekends besides being a fan of British BEAT music and never missing Shindig! on television. When first visiting the small community of Elgin in 2007, I was surprise to learn how the Beatles and many other vocalist and musicians came to perform during the early days of their careers. In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 SCOTBEAT.wordpress.com. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference https://scotbeat.wordpress.com when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music
2 comments on “Dusty and The Springfields
  1. Donella Campbell says:

    Hi there, can anyone on this website help me out? I am looking for information about the Springfields. I know they had a second tour of Scotland in late September 1962. This was at a time when their single ‘Silver Threads and Golden Needles’ was climbing the charts in the US. There was talk of them making a lightening trip to America, with the possibility of appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show. I believe the US visit didn’t happen because of their prior committment in Scotland. My question is this – can anyone give me any more information about this contract or why they weren’t able to postpone their Scottish tour?

  2. scotbeat says:

    Donella, i will look through correspondence/contract to see if I can find an answer for you. Albert Bonici was a reasonable man and as with others who would have to renig on a contract, it would have been a matter of a good reason and a financial agreement to disappoint fans in Scotland if it were a last minute change… David david.dills@yahoo.com

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