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The Springfields were a British pop-folk vocal trio who had success in the early 1960s in the UK, US and Ireland. They included singer Dusty Springfield and her brother, record producer Tom Springfield, along with Tim Feild, who was replaced by Mike Hurst.
|Associated acts||The Lana Sisters|
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 with 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 in February 1962, the Springfields became even more successful. In 1961, the trio starred in their own 15-minute music TV series on the BBC, The Springfields.
In 1962, their version of "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" reached the US Top 20 (Billboard), No. 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 No. 1 in Australia. It featured lead guitar by Judd Proctor. "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
"Island of Dreams" rose to the UK No. 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 No. 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.
|21st Century "revival"|
Original studio albumsEdit
|1962||Silver Threads and Golden Needles (US only)||91|
|1963||Folk Songs from the Hills||–|
|1962||Kinda Folksy No.1||–|
|Kinda Folksy No.2||–|
|Kinda Folksy No.3||–|
|Christmas with the Springfields||–||Woman's Own|
|1961||"Dear John"||—||—||—||singles only|
|"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"||—||—||—|
- YouTube: Broadcast of 20 July 1961
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 166–167. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
-  Archived 12 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived 4 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine
- Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952–2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 734. ISBN 0-00-717931-6.
- Whitburn, Joel (2011). Top Pop Singles 1955–2010. Record Research, Inc. p. 844. ISBN 0-89820-188-8.