1960 The Springfields – Silver Threads and Golden Needles
In 1960, Dion O’Brien and Tim Feild had been working in England as a duo, The Kensington Squares. Dion’s sister Mary joined the group, forming a folksinger trio. Mary and Dion changed their last names to Springfield, and the group became known as the Springfields. Oh, and Mary started appearing using her nickname, Dusty.
The group performed folk music with Dusty usually singing lead. They recorded a few singles, but they failed to catch on at first.
In 1962, Mike Hurst replaced Tim, and the group began singing on their own fifteen-minute television series. The net result was an increase in exposure and increased popularity in the UK.
Wanda Jackson was a singer performing mostly rockabilly tunes in (coincidence alert!) Springfield, Missouri, from 1955 to 1960. During that time she recorded a few singles that mostly failed to chart. The flip side of Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad was a very Country version of Silver Threads and Golden Needles.
The Springfields somehow learned, arranged, and released their cover of Silver Threads And Golden Needles in the Summer of 1962. The record reached number twenty on the US Hot 100, making it the first British recording to be that successful. It was a few more months before Telstar became the first US #1 record from England and another two years before the Beatles arrived in force. It may have been seven months after My Boomerang Won’t Come Back hit the charts from Australia, but Charlie Drake’s single only reached #21 in the US.
While The Springfields may have had continued success in the UK, one record that reached #95 was the best they could manage in the US.
Dusty decided to leave the group so she could record something other than folk music, and in 1963 the group disbanded.
Dusty immediately had hit records, leading off with the single I Only Want To Be With You in 1963 and continuing on until she sang with the Pet Shop Boys on What Have I Done To Deserve This in 1987. She had several more hits after that, but only in the UK.
Tom continued writing songs, including Georgy Girl and several other hits for a group from Australia, the Seekers.
Mike reformed a new version of the Springfields with two new singers and they continue to make public appearances.