dusty springfield's real name is mary isabel catherine bernadette o'brien so you may guess that she just may have been irish. she was the first to bring the motown sound to england( she had a tv show) - to a profound effect( the beatles among many others were keenly fond of motown and american girl groups) that is still apparent and felt today. many consider her the greatest white singer of pop and perhaps the only white woman who can stand amid the great soul divas of the most soul oriented decade- the 1960s . even the queen of england , who never offers commentary upon the deaths of any of her subjects, found herself 'deeply saddened' by dusty's passing from breast cancer in 1999.
and she was a sistah if you know what i mean and sistahs, male or female, are always snakes whether they know it or not.
i've posted this before and it was removed but it's back again . there's no better time to hear a classic ancient irish melody from the white queen of soul:
my lagan love:
kate bush, whose mother was irish,( her brother's name is paddy...) does a stunning version of my lagan love- absolutely breath stealing- but it's not on yootube. but wait- here-
i can't even begin to talk about kate because i'll cry - she's that beautiful and so profoundly talented. someone once said she's proof there's a god(dess) and i have to agree. her voice always manages to stop and transfix me.
if folk music came out to rabid popularity in the 60s as the rather lame-o kingston trio crap and ranty soulless socialist union sloganeering( pete seeger et al) it's because americans of european heritage were at a loss for finding and genuinely connecting to the real sources of their' folk' music- the romantic , really veiled religious songs of the goddess worshipping troubadours and the ancient celtic and english melodies like my lagan love. one group that muscled down and did the research- actually going to the english folk dance and song society (http://www.efdss.org/index.htm) and reading- was fairport convention whose liege & lief( 1969), the final product of all the studying up, is still considered one of the most important and influential folk music albums ever released -indeed even an album that changed the world of music. a big part of it's success is due to the singer and her ability to emotionally connect to stories that are obscure to the modern mind in an awkward and older form of the english language, in dialect, making them relevant and moving and catchy.
Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny partly scottish and known as sandy denny provides the magic that makes thousands of years of willfully obscured tradition seem familiar and part of you. she's the one singing with robert plant on the battle of evermore . considered one of the most important female folk singers ever in the english language she died quite young in 1978 after a fall. kate bush pays her homage in ' blow away' as do a sea of other performers- her ' who knows where the time goes' is one of the most covered of folk songs. although she often felt cursed by her identification with traditional material the fact that she did those songs better justice than about anyone else to this day is a testament to the strength of her talent and the emotional reach of her voice.