Found Performance: “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” – Dusty Springfield

This was the first song I ever heard by British performer Dusty Springfield. It was also my favorite by Dusty, who was a class act. It is interesting to note that “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” was originally a 1965 Italian song by Pino Donaggio and Vito Pallavicini.  In English speaking countries Dusty had the big hit in 1966. There is a story that goes with the recording session. It has been reported that Dusty was unhappy with the acoustics in the recording booth, so she moved into a hallway to record. She wasn’t satisfied until she had completed 47 takes. Then it was a wrap.

I guess I am not the only one who liked this one, because it became Dusty’s most successful charting record — #1 in the UK, #4 in the US (Billboard Hot 100) on My 21, 1966. Elvis covered the song in 1970 and it was a hit all over again. Other popular songs by Dusty included “Son of a Preacher Man,” “Wishin’ and Hopin’,” “If You Go Away,” and “The Windmills Of Your Mind.”

In 1999 Springfield passed away, a victim of cancer. She was 59 years of age. This performance was part of a 1967 BBC “Dusty Springfield” TV special. (The video is at ad free Vimeo, so click on the play button 2x – once to go to Vimeo and again the start the video.)

Author: Steven L. Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with QZVX.COM in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.
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10 thoughts on “Found Performance: “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” – Dusty Springfield

  1. I always liked Dusty’s distinctive voice. I first became aware of her as the lead vocalist in the British folk/country trio The Springfields, along with her brother Tom Springfield and Tim Field. Tom also was the trio’s record producer. They had an international hit in 1962 with “Silver Threads & Golden Needles”. It reached #20 on the US Pop Charts, #16 US-Country and #1 in Australia … but surprisingly, didn’t chart in the UK. They did a little better that same year on the British charts with “Island Of Dreams” at #5. ~ I guess I’d have to say “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” and “Wishin’ and Hopin'” would be tied as my 2 favorite Dusty releases.
    As with many actors and singers, Dusty’s birth name was slightly more complicated: Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien. Irish, is she!?

  2. Jay….I had totally forgotten The Springfields did Silver Threads and Golden Needles. I think I even have the single. In my sphere of awareness I always think of Ronstadt’s version years later. I guess we should note that her brother Tom wrote, and Dusty recorded as an album track, Summer is Over which was also released on a 45 rpm by Kathi McDonald and The Unusuals in 1966.

  3. Wow…That woman had a rocky personal life!…She was a lesbian, but kept it in the closet for quite a few years…had a lot of relationships, and a tortured, angry personality…but she looked so angelic on TV…her duos with Tom Jones were electric.

  4. Jack ~ There’s no doubt Dusty had a turbulent life … chronicled in her authorized autobiography “Dancing With Demons”. It was said of her, the confidence she showed on vinyl was basically a facade hiding severe insecurities … much of which was based on fears of losing her career if exposed as a lesbian … which in that era was certainly a reasonable fear. Her career faded in the ’70s, but she had a resurgence in the late 80s with her duet with The Pet Shop Boys, “What Have I Done To Deserve This”, which became an international hit (#2 Billboard • #1 Cashbox). As Steve mentioned, Dusty died just shy of her 60th birthday and weeks before she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    1. Mike…your comment on Jackie DeShannon really resonated with me!…I also frequently confused the sound and style of their voices!…and they were, let’s face it, hot blonds!….I just read a summary of DeShannon’s long, varied career in the music industry…She really circulated!….had a few relationships with famous performers, etc…And she was a prolific song writer!…She co-wrote “Betty Davis Eyes”, which must have made her filthy rich!……I could not believe that she had a typical 1960s relationship with Jimi Page!….She is still alive, and sometimes still performing…What a career!….on a different note…Why does the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame include many people who were not really “Rockers”?…I think they should rename that institution “The Popular Music Hall of Fame”…Dusty and Jackie were great popular artists, but certainly not Rock and Roll purveyors!

  5. Jack,
    Lots of Halls of Fame are nuts….Roger Maris not in the Baseball Hall of Fame and he held the season home run title for years, I believe longer than Babe Ruth. Then in the Radio Hall of Fame no Real Don Steele. In the Rock Hall no Revere and the Raiders and other heavyweight hit makers.

    1. Jack and Steve ~ With the term Rock ‘n Roll there comes a wide range of styles through its evolution. The Rock ‘n Roll of Bill Haley & The Comets certainly is only a “shirt-tail relative” to the music of Led Zeppelin! Early Rock ‘n Roll was The Platters, Fats Domino, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, Doo-Wop groups and such … Then came an uproar early on when Rockabilly artists like Elvis and Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps and Ricky Nelson were allowed to be accepted as part of the genre. The more Alan Freed & others widened the original music scope of Rock ‘n Roll, the more the lines of it specificity were blurred. The early use of the saxophone was essentially eliminated. Super amplified guitars eventually became the thing. Early on Brenda Lee and LaVerne Baker were Rock ‘n Roll, but their styles have little to do with Janis Joplin or Tina Turner. Identification corrections were attempted with terms like Soft Rock & Hard Rock, Southern Rock etc., so that Jackie de Shannon and Dusty Springfield could be included with the likes of Heart and Joan Jett.
      We haven’t even gotten into the styles of The Beatles and Eric Clapton and The Beach Boys and Linda Ronstadt and The Eagles and Elton John and Prince and Huey Lewis & The News and The Yardbirds and Duran Duran and all of Motown and on and on and on. Very few similarities in sounds and styles there. When most of us were teenagers, whatever music our parents didn’t like was considered Rock ‘n Roll.
      So, I suppose it probably should be the Popular Music Hall of Fame. But in the end it’s only Rock ‘n Roll that we’re “splitting hairs over” here … and I like it!

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