Essentially Dusty always “thought of herself as part of the orchestra, part of the ensemble” and this is very evident in most if not all her recording, certainly her stage appearances !
Her first foray into the World of music was when she was a teenager with her brother Dion (Tom to you and I). Later with the Lana Sisters and eventually as the ‘front’ of The Springfields.
When she eventually split from Tom and Mike of the Springfields she again surrounded herself with “the orchestra sounding like the household cavalry going past” PLUS a group of girls (at that time the Breakaways) echoing her every word. She was in her absolute element whilst at the same time disguising her voice ‘somewhere in there!! Of course the hair, the eyes and the gorgeous gowns were “Dusty Definately”…..but lets not forget that gorgeous voice, that’s what we all went see her for of course, but with hindsight it was the whole package we loved. An absolutely exotic combination of everything that was glamorous and vocally exciting….THATS MY GIRL !!
I digress….I have been thinking back (dare I say Goin’ Back) to the number of times Dusty appeared on TV (not on stage I dont think) with other singers. There were a number of times that she got together with the fabulous Tom Jones, they were so suited vocally I felt and liked the same music too. All too often TV producers or whoever throw completely the wrong type of singers together because they’re famous, they’re flavour of the month or whatever. Dusty only did that once that I saw, with comedian Alf Garnett, but that was a bit of a lark and (I think) intended to be so.
Dusty and Tom sung mostly ‘black’ music together and, in the most part, got away with it very well. I’m sure I saw her sing ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling with Tom on RSG but I’m sure someone will correct me on that one if its all a figment of my over fertile imagination!!
She also appeared with Englebert Humperdink a few times on his American TV shows. They did aint no mountain high enough, which was originally written for her in the sixties by a (then) husband and wife team Ashford and Simpson. Her name was Valerie but I’m not sure of the surname.
Dusty was later to sing this again on one of her last TV appearances with Michael Ball on his Christmas Show sometime in the mid nineties I think, great even after all that time, WHATA STAR !!
She dueted with Mel Torme who was at that time (mid late sixties) known as a Jazz singer more than anything but Dusty performed beautifully sitting at the piano singing Lets get away from it all, there really was nothing she couldn’t sing that girl. AND THE FROCKS…..did I mention the FROCKS ??
Dusty also had Scott Walker on her show soon after he split from The Walker Brothers, and sung with him. Their voices were so musically suited it was just a pity he/ she/ the producer chose the song they did. An old Everly Brothers song if I recall, but the title escapes me. Maybe if I have a glass of wine it will come flooding back to me, who knows, I going to anyway so here goes nothing !!
On what was to be her last TV appearance, Dusty got together with Jools Holland, Alison Moyet, Sinaed O’Connor and a terrific backing vocals trio and the Jools Holland band. It was pure magic to me, putting Dusty right back where she felt comfortable, just like the old RSG days, “part of the orchestra part of the ensemble. If you get the chance to see this check it out,Its available on You Tube (where else) I watch it often even now and it gives me goose bumps in place I didn’t know I had geese let alone bumps.
BUT…….to me I think the most entertaining and musically diverse (which is what Dusty was all about really) was Dusty with Dame Edna on “the most famous Australians” TV show!!
Dusty was guesting on the show to promote her new single, the fantastic In Private which witnessed “the gentling of Dusty Springfield”, which she mimed/ lip synced to very well. Miming was never a walk in the park for Dusty a) because of her poor memory and b)she liked to do things live when possible. Anyway it worked very well and Dusty was looking great too. But then…….she and Edna did a couple of songs from stage shows and they were bloody fantastic just the two of them together. In fact one of the ‘tunes’ was called ‘Together’, an old song from the reportoire of Jimmy (snozzle) Durante.He was called snozzle because of the size of his nose, I kid you not, people could do that then, and did.
The whole performance was CAMP with a capital C and unashamedly so. I LOVED IT not surprisingly !! They augmented this song with ‘Sisters’ a classic piece of showbiz camperie most popularly associated with the Beverley Sisters (ask yer Mum or maybe yer Grandma). They camped themselves silly and sung/ screamed/posed themselves into a frenzy. I loved every second of this piece of pure theatre. They don’t make them like that anymore. I don’t think they could if they wanted to.You can treat yourself to this magic on You Tube also.
A lot of these performances are available on DVD in your local record store “folks”!!It really is good “Goin’ Back you know……..xx