Song of the Day #3,509: ‘Natchez Trace’ – Dusty Springfield

I know ‘Natchez Trace’ as a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Dusty Springfield’s seminal classic Dusty in Memphis, but it turns out its backstory is rather interesting.

This song was originally recorded for an album titled Faithful, which was to be Springfield’s seventh studio recording. In 1971, Atlantic Records released two singles from the album but neither made the charts. Disappointed with the response, the studio shelved the album and declined to renew her contract.

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Song of the Day #1,447: ‘Just One Smile’ – Dusty Springfield

Best Albums of the 60s – #12
Dusty in Memphis – Dusty Springfield (1969)

My standard line is that when I’m listening to Dusty Springfield’s Dusty in Memphis I feel like I’ll never need to listen to anything else. It so perfectly captures a mood and a sound that I want to say, “OK, everybody else, put down your instruments… we have our winner.”

There’s just something about this particular brand of British soul by way of the American south that works for me.

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Song of the Day #830: ‘Son of a Preacher Man’ – Dusty Springfield

Top Ten Female Vocalists – #7 – Dusty Springfield

Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley represented the old school on my list of favorite male vocalists, and Dusty Springfield has that honor here.

The British Springfield made her most enduring musical contribution with the very American Dusty in Memphis, a seminal album containing wonderful songs written by the likes of Burt Bacharach, Carole King and Randy Newman. That album is my only real exposure to Springfield’s work but, as with Van Morrison’s Moondance, it’s more than enough to make me a huge fan.

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Song of the Day #547: ‘I Don’t Want to Hear it Anymore’ – Dusty Springfield

While I have Randy Newman on my mind, here’s a song of his written for Dusty Springfield and recorded for her classic Dusty in Memphis album. This is a whole different style for Newman, more of a Burt Bacharach song than anything you’d find on one of his own records.

Unlike some of Newman’s songs that were hits for other people (Three Dog Night’s ‘Mama Told Me Not to Come,’ for example), I can’t really imagine him performing this one. On the other hand, that’s often when you get the most interesting performances. I remember being very impressed with Paul Simon’s live solo version of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ a song he clearly wrote for the voice of Art Garfunkel.

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Song of the Day #57: ‘I Can’t Make It Alone’ – Dusty Springfield

I have a deep and abiding affection for Dusty Springfield that is based on just one album (her most famous — Dusty in Memphis) and a handful of singles.

Springfield did her best work in the mid- to late-60s but for some reason her music transports me mentally to the 50s, with visions of poodle skirts and bobby socks and slow dances in a high school gym. There is an innocence in the grandiosity of these songs, a sense that music really can heal the world (or your broken heart).

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