This famous photograph of Dusty Springfield was taken by John d Green for Birds of Britain on 12 April 1967 at his Kensington studios. This was the image that appeared in the book. Dusty was 27 when the photograph was taken. This photograph appeared on the front cover of Dusty Springfield’s third album, Where Am I Going, released in October 1967. A print of this image is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London.
John recalls the shoot: “Dusty Springfield is an interesting story. She rang to say she could only give me half and hour. So I tested the background and exposure, lighting, etc using my assistant ready for the shoot. Dusty arrived at the studio and we spent half an hour taking the pictures. A couple of rolls of film and that was it. I expected her to rush home, but she didn’t go. Four hours later, after endless cups of coffee, she was still there. She needed a shoulder and it happened to be mine, telling me her life story. She was a very lovely talented girl.”
Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien, known professionally as Dusty Springfield, was, at the peak of her career, one of the most successful British female performers, distinctive for her sensual mezzo-soprano voice. Born into a musical family, her career began in 1958 with The Lana Sisters.
She formed The Springfields with her brother Tom but found solo success in 1963 with the pop hit I Only Want To Be With You. Other hits included Wishin and Hopin’ (1964), I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself (1964), You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me (1966) and Son Of A Preacher Man (1968) from her critically acclaimed and commercially most successful album Dusty In Memphis which was recorded in Memphis, Tennessee with the Atlantic Records production team.
Following a career slump for several years Dusty Springfield returned to the charts in 1987 when she collaborated with The Pet Shop Boys. Interest in her work was further revived in the mid 90s when Son Of A Preacher Man was included on the soundtrack to the Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction.