Return To 60’s Main Menu Recording Artists Of The 60s 




(Dick Reynolds, Jack Rhodes)

Philips 40038

No. 20    September 22, 1962.




Mary (b. April 16, 1939) and Dion (b. July 2, 1934) O’Brien–a.k.a. Dusty and Tom Springfield–grew

up in Hampstead, London, singing with their parents in a rec. room equipped with microphones and

amplifiers.      Dion worked as a bank teller, a stock broker, and an interpreter for the military.    Mary,

educated in British convents in High Wycombe and Ealing, worked as a clerk in a record store, a

salesgirl in a department store, and even took jobs selling dustbins and toy trains.    In the late ’50s,

Dion started folk singing  with an ex-wine tester and ad man named Tim Field.       Dusty, as Mary now

called herself, was  soon invited to join Dion and Tim in a Peter, Paul & Mary-type group.


The trio’s name surfaced while they were practicing one warm spring day in an open field.     In 1961,

the Springfields auditioned for Philips Records and secured a recording contract.    Nearly a half­

dozen of their singles rambled over the British charts before the Beatles even set foot in the States.


“Silver Threads And Golden Needles” was an updated and electrified rendition of an early Wanda

Jackson country hit.     But before it peaked on the US. charts, Field had left and was replaced by Mike

Hurst (b. Michael Longhurst-Pickworth).     The group’s initial stateside LP, 1962’s Silver Threads

and Golden Needles, sold well, and their follow­ up single, “Dear Hearts And Gentle People,” hit

number 95 the same year.    British mags like Melody Maker and New Music Express rated them the

country’s number-one vocal group for 1961 and 1962.      Despite all the attention, the Springfields

splintered in September 1963, after a performance at the London Palladium.


Mike Hurst went on to manage a folk club, work as a DJ, and produce some recordings, most notably

Cat Stevens’ early sides for the Deram label.     Tom Springfield has been working as an arranger, has

made some orchestral recordings, and wrote several hits for the Seekers.   Dusty, the most successful

ex-Springfield, launched her solo career in the fall of 1963.    “I Only Want To Be With You” (#12,

1964), was the first in a best-selling line of ultra-fine lusties–“Wishin’ And Hopin”‘ (#6, 1964), “You

Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” (#4, 1966), “The Look  Of Love” (#22, 1967), and onward through

the ’60s.


Dusty’s singles stopped Stateside charting in 1970, and she kept a low profile throughout the ’70s.

Following a veiled  admission to bisexuality, Dusty moved to the states in 1975. However, she returned

to the public eye collaborating with the Pet Shop Boy’s on their 1988 single “What Have I Done To

Deserve This?”    Homeland success continued with her rendering of the theme to the John Hurt/

Bridget Fonda flick Scandal (1989), “Nothing Has Been Proven,” and her 1995 album, A Very

Fine Love.