Springfield's version became an international hit reaching Number 10 in the United States and Number 9 in her native United Kingdom when it was released in late 1968.
‘Son of a Preacher Man’ was to be the last Top Ten chart hit for Dusty Springfield for almost 20 years, until she teamed up with ‘Pet Shop Boys’ for the single What Have I Done to Deserve This’ in 1987. This record was placed number 77 among ‘The Greatest Singles of All Time’ by New Musical Express in 2002 and in 2004 the song made the Rolling Stone list of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ at Number 240.
My memory of first hearing this song was during the first six months of my first marriage. Five couples married and all obtained newly built houses in the Crescent in Mirfield. We all became the closest of friends and remained so until, divorce, job movement and promotion led to the gradual breakup of the group. During our 13 years of close friendship, we mixed daily, went out together weekly, the men went for a Thursday night out at the pub and the women preferred to go to a theatre together. We would take it, in turn, to entertain the group at our homes in weekly rotation and we even holidayed together.
I was the only churchgoer and believer of God in the group, and groups being what they are, and me being a staunch Roman Catholic, they would seize whatever opportunity they could to rib me. After I once revealed that I had seriously contemplated training for the priesthood before I went to Canada for a few years, they never let me forget it in their playful banter. When my firstborn, William was born, the first time they looked at him inside the pram, they started singing ‘Son of a Preacher Man’.
During later years when I was engaged in many charitable ventures during the 90s, I had occasion to meet over 860 famous names and national and international celebrities who read my books in Yorkshire school assemblies. I also had a stable of around fifty famous names who supported my work to the extent that they would annually keep me supplied with items I would use in a bonanza celebrity charity auction. Authors would provide autographed books to auction off, singers would provide cds and records, painters would supply me with a painting and other celebrities with other personal memorabilia.
During her last year of life, Dusty was to supply me with an autographed record to auction off. She was a great singer with a powerful voice. God rest her soul.
Love and peace Bill xxx