The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Wishin' and Hopin'"

Wednesday, April 16: 5:04 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Dusty Springfield's "Wishin' and Hopin'" is one of the Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

A powerful, smoky voice that ran the emotional gamut from cool sophistication to simmering passion, Dusty Springfield has been cited as "one of the five mighty pop divas of the Sixties," placing her in the rarified company of Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross and Martha Reeves. No less an authority than Berry Gordy credits her for helping the Motown sound take root in the U.K. Smitten by the soulful sounds coming out of Detroit, Springfield actually introduced the British public to Motown’s caravan of stars as the host of a 1965 TV special, while her solo work interpreted "the Sound of Young America" as a cool, poised vocal outpouring that reflected her British upbringing. Springfield immediately connected as a solo artist with 1964’s “I Only Want to Be with You.” The song made it into the British Top 10 and hit Number 12 in the U.S., making her the second British act after the Beatles to score a stateside pop hit. She became known as a British interpreter of American songwriters such as Randy Newman, Jerry Ragavoy, Gerry Goffin and Carole King and Burt Bacharach and Hal David. One of those memorable hits was "Wishin' and Hopin'"

Written by Bacharach and David, "Wishin' and Hopin' began life as the B-side of 1963 Dionne Warwick single "This Empty Place." Springfield recorded the song in London in January 1964; when she and Bacharach met in New York the next month, the composer recalled, "I tried to talk her into releasing 'Wishin' and Hopin'" [as a single] because she had some ambivalence about it." The song was first issued in the States as a track on Springfield's U.S. debut album, Stay Awhile/I Only Want to Be with You. It caught the ear of New York disc jockey Jack Lacy. Lacy's frequent spins on radio station WINS broke the song throughout the Northeast and soon forced Phillips Records to release "Wishin' and Hopin'" as a single in May 1964. It became Dusty Springfield's first U.S. Top 10 hit, peaking at Number Six on the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached the Top 10 in Australia and Canada.

Dusty Springfield was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 and is among the artists featured in the Museum's British Invasion exhibit.

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