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The Springfields


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There are two artists named The Springfields.

1. The Springfields were a British pop-folk vocal trio in the early 1960s, who had success both in the UK, USA and Ireland, but are now best remembered as the launch pad for singer Dusty Springfield.

The trio formed in 1960, when Mary “Dusty” O’Brien joined her brother Dion O’Brien and Tim Feild, who had been working as a duo,”The Kensington Squares”. Dion became Tom Springfield, and Mary became Dusty Springfield. Feild was later replaced by Mike Hurst.

Tom Springfield was a songwriter and arranger with a wide knowledge of folk music, and the group had strong vocal harmonies and Dusty’s powerful lead. They were signed to Philips Records and released their first single, “Dear John,” in 1961, followed by two UK chart hits with “Breakaway” and “Bambino” – like their other records, produced by Johnny Franz.

In 1962, their version of “Silver Threads and Golden Needles” – which surprisingly was not released as a single in the UK - reached the US Top 20, the first single by a British group ever to do so (predating the Tornados’ “Telstar” by two months, and the Beatles by 15 months). The record also reached # 1 in Australia.

At the end of 1962 they had the biggest hit of their career in Britain, “Island of Dreams”, which reached # 5 in the charts, as did the follow-up “Say I Won’t Be There”. By this time the Springfields were one of the most popular groups in the UK. However, Dusty Springfield felt increasingly hemmed in by the group’s image as a folk act and Tom’s lead role within the trio, and towards the end of 1963 decided to leave for a solo career.


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