Toronto Mike

When Dusty Bettered Aretha

Aretha Frnaklin is the undisputed Queen of Soul, but in the late-60s, she was beat by British blue-eyed soul singer Dusty Springfiield.

In 1968, songwriters John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins wrote Son of a Preacher Man for Aretha Franklin, but Aretha turned it down because her father really was a preacher man and she thought it might be disrespectful. Jerry Wexler, Aretha's producer at Atlantic Records, but working with Dusty Springfield at the time and thought it would be ideal for her Dusty in Memphis album.

Son of a Preacher Man was a big hit for Dusty, and Aretha realized her mistake and recorded it the next year. In my most humble opinion, Dusty did it better, and I'm not just saying that as someone who has seen Pulp Fiction 50 times.

Son of a Preacher Man was Dusty Springfield's last Top 30 hit until 1987, when her collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys yielded the huge hit "What Have I Done to Deserve This?".

Pulp Fiction made me fall in love with Dusty's Son of a Preacher Man, but I was already digging certain chords because I owned Cypress Hill's Black Sunday.

For more about Dusty Springfield, check out my conversation with Dusty's lover Carole Pope. Carole talks about hanging out with the Pet Shop Boys at Dusty's funeral.

Author image
About Toronto Mike
I own TMDS and host Toronto MIke'd. Become a Patron.