Song Of The Day: Dusty Springfield – “Wishin’ And Hopin'” (1964)

Happy Birthday to Dusty Springfield, who was born on this day in 1939. Such a brilliant singer who lived such a tragic life. How great might her interpretative talents have become in the Seventies and Eighties had she not been so beaten and battered by the intolerant social norms of the Fifties and Sixties? But even if you didn’t know her story there was always an authenticity to the pain and sadness in her voice, whether it was the breathy vulnerability or the full-throttle wail. That’s why Burt Bacharach songs like this one were such a good fit for her. It’s like a three-minute mini-opera where the sections of hope are offset by such big dramatic notes of longing. Hal David’s lyrics may be hilariously outdated now, but nobody writes melodies like this anymore, and for that matter, nobody sings them like this anymore either.

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