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The Springfields

Formed in 1960, this London-based folk trio were not only the missing-link between Stateside counterparts The WEAVERS and PETER, PAUL & MARY, but also the stamping ground for one of Britain’s best-loved female divas, DUSTY SPRINGFIELD.
The SPRINGFIELDS comprised songwriter Dion O’Brien and friend Tim Feild; interestingly enough, the centre of attraction was Dion’s sister, former convent girl Mary O’Brien (soon-to-be the aforementioned superstar Dusty). With Dion also changing his moniker to Tom Springfield, the three harmonized their way into the pop charts, both in Britain and the States. A couple of UK hits (`Breakaway’ and `Bambino’) established them as one of the most popular traditional British acts of the era and, in 1962, the trio even cracked the US Top 20 with `Silver Threads And Golden Needles’; also the alternative title to British LP, KINDA FOLKSY (1962) {*4}.
Subsequent home-grown hits (`Island Of Dreams’ and `Say I Won’t Be There’) featured newbie Mike Hurst, who’d replaced Feild late in ‘62; the latter found peace in religion as Reshad Feild, and also fame in books. A subsequent trip to the States introduced Dusty to the burgeoning girl-group craze and, heavily influenced by both Motown and the “teen symphonies” of PHIL SPECTOR, she embarked on a solo career in 1963, leaving the remaining members to split after FOLK SONGS FROM THE HILLS {*4}. Tom continued to write the odd hit (he also released solo material including `Sun Songs’ and `Love’s Philosophy’ in the 60s, and initially wrote and produced for Australians The SEEKERS), while Hurst also became a top producer for the likes of MANFRED MANN and CAT STEVENS.
© MC Strong 2010 GFD // rev-up MCS Aug2016

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