The Springfields

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For the American indie pop band, see Velvet Crush.
The Springfields
Origin London, England
Genres Folk, pop
Years active 1960–1964
Labels Philips Records
Associated acts The Lana Sisters
The Seekers
Members Mike Hurst
Dusty Springfield
Tom Springfield
Tim Feild

The Springfields were a British pop-folk vocal trio who had success in the early 1960s in the UK, US and Ireland and included singer Dusty Springfield and her brother, record producer Tom Springfield, along with Tim Feild, who was latterly replaced by Mike Hurst, who became a record producer.

Career[edit]

The trio formed in 1960, when Mary "Dusty" O’Brien, who had been a member of all-girl singing trio The Lana Sisters, 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.

Tom Springfield was a songwriter and arranger with a wide knowledge of folk music and the group had strong vocal harmonies as well as Dusty’s powerful lead. Occupying a musical sphere comparable to that of the contemporary Peter, Paul and Mary 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.

The first recording contract the Springfields signed was offered by producer Johnny Franz at Philips Records in London. With early singles including "Breakaway" and "Bambino", and numerous television appearances, the trio soon became very popular in the UK. After Feild was replaced by Mike Hurst, the Springfields became even more successful. In 1962, their version of "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" reached the US Top 20 (Billboard), #23 (Cash Box), 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.[citation needed] It featured lead guitar by Judd Proctor. "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[1]

"Island of Dreams" rose to the UK #5 at the beginning of 1963, and stayed in the charts for six months. The follow-up, "Say I Won’t Be There", was also #5 in the UK Singles Chart. By this time, the Springfields were one of the most popular groups in the UK. The group had several chart hits and had recorded several foreign language records. However, Dusty Springfield felt limited by the group's folk act and Tom's lead role within the trio and, towards the end of 1963, decided to leave for a solo career, at which point the group disbanded.

Tom Springfield subsequently wrote a number of songs for Australian pop-folk band The Seekers, including the No.1 hits "I'll Never Find Another You" and "The Carnival Is Over", as well as the Oscar-nominated "Georgy Girl", which he wrote with actor-singer Jim Dale.

In the early 1970s, Mike Hurst - by now a successful producer - teamed up with former Seeker Keith Potger to launch Springfield Revival, a more contemporary version of The Springfields. The line-up consisted of Australian singer-songwriter Mick Flinn (vocals, guitar, kazoo), formerly of The Mixtures, plus two Britons: Donna Jones (vocals), from Manchester, and former stage musical actor Ray Hoskins, alias Ray Martin (vocals, guitar), from London. This group supported The Osmonds on tour and made two albums for Polydor in the UK and one for MGM in the US, but without any chart success. Jones and Flinn are currently members of The New Seekers.

Personnel[edit]

The Springfields personnel
(1960–1961)
(1962–1963)

(Mike Hurst would replace Tim Feild)

(2011-present)[2]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album US Label
1961 Kinda Folksy Philips
1962 Silver Threads and Golden Needles 91
1963 Folk Songs from the Hills
2007 On An Island of Dreams

EPs[edit]

Year Album US Label
1961 The Springfields - Philips
1962 Kinda Folksy No.1 -
Kinda Folksy No.2 -
Kinda Folksy No.3 -
Christmas With The Springfield - Woman's Own
1963 Hit Sounds - Philips

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Positions Album
UK[3] US[4] US Country
1961 "Dear John" singles only
"Breakaway" 31
"Bambino" 16
1962 "Goodnight Irene"
"Silver Threads and Golden Needles" 20 16 Silver Threads and Golden Needles
"Dear Hearts and Gentle People" 95
"Gotta Travel On" 114
"Island of Dreams" 5 129 singles only
1963 "Say I Won't Be There" 5
"Come On Home" 31
1964 "If I Was Down And Out"
"Oh Holy Child"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 166–167. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ http://www.thespringfields.co.uk/biogs.htm
  3. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952-2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 734. ISBN 0-00-717931-6. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 844. ISBN 0-89820-188-8. 

External links[edit]