Wait… Dusty Springfield appeared on The Dating Game? Apparently so!
Wonder why she seems so disinterested? Such a distinguished set of cheeky chappies to choose from. I do hope Dusty wasn’t really obliged to go on a skiing vacation with “Bachelor # 2. I kinda doubt it. That might have gotten awkward (During the credits a voice over says “Celebrity dates are subject to availability.”)
Of historical note, “Bachelor #1” was Milt Kamen, a stand-up comic who was Sid Caesar’s TV stand-in and who allegedly invented many of the bits Caesar is famous for.
This is what cultural revolution looked like in the early 1960s: youngsters dancing in a cramped television studio, as smartly dressed men and women mime love songs.
From its opening line: “The weekend starts here!” Ready, Steady, Go! was one of the most revolutionary and influential programs on British TV.
Between 1963 and 1966, Ready, Steady, Go! brought pioneering performances by the biggest pop names to millions of homes across the country. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield, Lulu, The Animals, Cilla Black, Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Searchers, and even Peter Cook & Dudley Moore—who later parodied the show in their film Bedazzled.
The miming eventually stopped in April 1965, after the show moved to a bigger studio and artists were asked to play live—most notably now legendary sets by The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Manfred Mann and The Walker Brothers. It gave the show an immediacy and power its rivals could only dream about, but by 1966, as the beat revolution moved on, Ready, Steady, Go! was canceled.
Ready, Steady, Go! had an unprecedented influence on shaping musical taste, and youth fashion, and in 2011, The Kinks’ Ray Davies paid homage to RSG! with a recreation of the show at the Meltdown Festival.
Actress Kirsten Holly Smith’s one-woman performances as Dusty Springfield have been gathering rave reviews for years in New York and Los Angeles theater circles and now “Forever Dusty” is being mounted at New World Stages, the biggest Off Broadway house in the city, as a full-scale, multi-character musical. The book was written by Smith and her husband, Jonathan Vankin and with 20 Dusty Springfield numbers, the show is being compared to mega-hit “Jersey Boys” by critics (and Perez Hilton).
DM pal Jeff Newelt saw the show and called it “A concentrated blast of pop nose candy.” There’s a discount code for DM readers: Get 40% off tickets by using the code FDSOUL12 at BroadwayOffers.com, or by calling 212-947-8844, OR by walk-up at the New World Stages box office, 340 W. 50th St. (between 8th/9th Aves, NYC).
It was summer, I was a young child sitting in the living room drawing pictures when I first heard her voice on the radio. It made me stop and listen to try and understand what it was I was hearing. Her voice was full of a power and emotion that I could feel but didn’t yet fully understand. It gave a hint to some secret, adult world I was still to discover. It was sensual and seductive. The voice was Dusty Springfield. The song, “The Look of Love.”
Dusty was described by Elton John “as the greatest white singer there has ever been.” Never one for understatement, Sir Elton is almost right - though he is a tad forgetful of quite a few others from Maria Callas to Elvis and beyond. Dusty was one of the greats, and certainly the greatest white soul singer there has ever been. No one comes close.
Shown as part of Melvyn Bragg’s always fascinating arts series The South Bank Show, this excellent documentary on Dusty Springfield was first aired in 2006, and contains interviews with Burt Bacharach, Billie Jean King, Lee Everett, Charles Shaar Murray, Neil Tennant, Chris Lowe, Camille Paglia, and Carole Pope.
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