Song of the Day, November 10: Son-of-A Preacher Man by Dusty Springfield

DustyMemphisPreacherToday’s song is the Dusty Springfield classic Son-of-A Preacher Man. Born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien in London in 1939, she began singing young. In her teens and early 20s she performed as one of the Lana Sisters and in the Springfields with her brother Tom. She began recording solo as Dusty Springfield in 1963. She built a solid career on both sides of the Atlantic, kicking off with the Bacharach/David tune You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me and recording many solid pop tracks in a similar vein.

By 1968 she was the best-selling female singer in the world and decided to pursue the soul sound that inspired her. She headed to Memphis and American Sound Studios, working with producers Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin to create Dusty In Memphis. The location — used by her idol Aretha Franklin — and stellar supporting cast of producers and musicians inspired her, and the album is considered not just her high point but one of the best discs of the 60s.

The standout track is the lusty Son-Of-A Preacher Man, written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins. A short but powerful ode to sexual awakening spiced with the identity of the object of her lust, it’s a wonderful song. Springfield turns in one of her finest vocals, sizzling and soaring in all the right places.

Enjoy this R&B crossover classic today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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