The Springfields – comprising Londoners Mike Hurst and siblings Tom and Dusty Springfield – were voted top British vocal group for the third time in the New Musical Express readers poll, and had peaked at #5 with their latest single, Say I Won’t Be There, based on a traditional Gallic chanson.
This typified the trio’s strategy of adapting well-known folk ditties, established with their very first single, 1961’s Dear John on which the melody of the US Civil War song Marching Through Georgia was readily discernible.
Nevertheless, their most enduring hit, Island Of Dreams broke the formula, being a Tom Springfield original.
Signs of commercial danger were, however, soon to be perceptible when Come On Home, the follow-up to Say I Won’t Be There’ struggled in the lower reaches of the Top 30.
Within weeks, the Springfields disbanded, and Dusty announced that her first solo 45, I Only Want To Be With You, was to be released in the autumn. A star was born.
Mike Hurst helped to put together a revival in 1972, recreating the atmosphere of the old group rather than their music. The new act – called (appropriately enough) The Springfield Revival – consisted of Donna Jones, Ray Martin and Mick Flinn (who had been in the Australian group The Mixtures).
The group appeared extensively on British TV, toured the world with The Osmonds and performed at the 45th Academy Awards in Hollywood in 1973. Donna Jones and Mick Flinn both eventually ended up in a later incarnation of The New Seekers.