In 1968, Dusty Springfield was at an odd stage in her career. She’d been an international singing sensation throughout the ’60s (with her beehive hair-do and heavy mascara); a British pop star who could emote vocals that were heartfelt, soulful and sensual. But in 1968, music was changing. A revolution was taking place in Britain and female singers and “pop” were becoming unfashionable. So Springfield signed with Atlantic Records, which was known for its progressive, artist-centric business sensibilities.
Atlantic released its first single for Dusty Springfield, “Son of a Preacher Man,” on Nov. 8, 1968. The song debuted at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #10. Springfield was still working on her album Dusty in Memphis at the time of the single’s release. The album would not be available until the following spring.
This would be Springfield’s last Top 10 single for 19 years. Although she continued to record throughout the ’70s, she would not have another Top 10 single until 1987, when the Pet Shop Boys asked her to perform on their song “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”
In 1999, Dusty Springfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.