Dusty Springfield, circa 1960 (King Collection/Photoshot/Getty Images)
In the 1960s Dusty Springfield helped bring the sound of Motown to audiences in the U.K. She shot to the top of the charts with hits such as "Wishin' and Hopin'" and "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" as part of the new wave of "blue-eyed soul" artists who popularized soul music in the British Isles. Her success took her to America, where she toured and recorded with many of the same artists who inspired her. At the same time, Springfield worked to bring over American soul acts to tour and capitalize on the newfound popularity of the genre. We remember Dusty Springfield's life today and the lives of other notable people who died this day in history.
2008: Jeff Healey, blind Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist who led the Jeff Healey Band and had a hit song with "Angel Eyes," dies of cancer at 41.
Healey had battled cancer since age 1, when a rare form of retinal cancer known as Retinoblastoma claimed his eyesight. Because of his blindness, Healey taught himself to play guitar by placing the instrument across his lap. His unique playing style, combined with his blues-oriented vocals, earned him a reputation as a teenage musical prodigy. He shared stages with George Harrison, B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Read more
2007: Clem Labine, U.S. right-handed relief pitcher who played most of his career with the Dodgers and won three World Series Championships, dies at 80.
In 1951, Labine was thrust into the three-game National League pennant playoff between the Dodgers and New York Giants. After the Giants won the opener, Brooklyn had no regular starter available for Game 2. Labine got the assignment by default and threw a six-hit shutout to keep the Dodgers alive in the best-of-three series. Bobby Thomson's ninth-inning home run won the pennant for the Giants the next day. Labine would throw another shutout, allowing just seven hits in Game 6 of the 1956 World Series and beating the New York Yankees 1-0 in 10 innings to force a seventh game, which the Yankees won. That shutout came a day after Don Larsen's perfect game, the only no-hitter in World Series history. Read more
2005: Martin Denny, U.S. piano player and composer who was known as "The Father of Exotica" for his popular brand of lounge music, dies at 93.
2004: Marge Schott, U.S. owner of Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds from 1984 until 1999 who was known for uttering contentious remarks, dies at 75.
2004: Mercedes McCambridge, U.S. actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Giant but also provided the demon's voice in the horror film The Exorcist, dies at 87.
2003: Hank Ballard, U.S. rhythm-and-blues singer whose group the Midnighters had a hit song with "Work With Me, Annie" in 1953 and who is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, dies at 75.
Ballard wrote the 1954 Midnighter’s release "Work With Me, Annie," but it was banned from the airwaves by the Federal Communications Commission for its suggestive lyrics. The government may not have approved, but they couldn’t keep it out of the hands of white teenagers. The record rose to No. 1 on the R&B charts and stayed there for nearly two months, selling nearly a million copies. Follow-ups "Annie Had a Baby" and "Annie’s Aunt Fannie" also were restricted from radio and were big hits. Read more
1999: David Ackles, U.S. singer-songwriter who was not a commercial success but influenced artists such as Elton John and Elvis Costello, who called Ackles "probably the greatest unheralded songwriter of the late 1960s," dies at 62.
1999: Dusty Springfield, English singer who had many pop hits including "Son of a Preacher Man," dies at 59.
Dusty in Memphis was a meticulously crafted record, overseen by Springfield herself, a notorious perfectionist who rejected most of the songs initially proposed; she later rerecorded her vocals to further refine the record's sound. Famous producers were in charge of the album – Jerry Wexler, producer of Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, among them – but Springfield was used to self-producing her albums, and she kept some creative control over Dusty in Memphis. Elvis' backing band provided the rhythm, and songwriters like Randy Newman and Carole King contributed tracks. The result proved stunning. Read more
1994: Anita Morris, U.S. actress who had a major role in the movie Ruthless People and appeared in Cheers, dies of cancer at 50. Read more
1994: Walter Kent, U.S. composer who wrote "I'll Be Home for Christmas," dies at 82.
1993: Paul D. Zimmerman, U.S. screenwriter who is known for writing the Martin Scorsese film The King of Comedy, dies at 54.
1992: Sandy Dennis, U.S. actress whose performance in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? won her an Oscar, dies of ovarian cancer at 54.
1991: Serge Gainsbourg, French singer-songwriter and actor who was highly influential and one of the most important figures in modern French music, dies at 62.
1987: Randolph Scott, U.S. actor who was very popular as a leading man in Western movies, dies at 89.
1984: Louis Basile, U.S. actor who was known for playing Louie in the TV series The Super, dies at 51.
1982: Philip K. Dick, U.S. author who wrote classic science-fiction stories, many of which were turned into movies including Blade Runner, Total Recall and Minority Report, dies at 53.
1972: Bill Lawrence, U.S. news reporter who worked with ABC News and The New York Times, dies at 56.
1953: Jim Lightbody, U.S. runner who won three gold medals at the 1904 Summer Olympics, dies at 70.
1939: Howard Carter, English archaeologist who is famous for the discovery of King Tut's tomb, dies at 64.
1930: D. H. Lawrence, English author who is well-known for his novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, dies at 44.