Auntie Anke’s Music History Storytelling Hour part I

Now I keep wanting to write the Want To as Wanna. Because that is really what she is singing. ‘She’ is of course, Dusty Springfield, who left this planet way too early, at only 59 years old. She was an important ambassador of what is called ‘blued-eyed soul’, that is, soul music sung by white people in the sixties, and this song became a smash hit in 1963, when Dusty was only 24 years old.

Dusty was an icon of the Swinging Sixties: beehive hairdo, long evening gown, heavy make up, dramatic shows…. Who didn’t wanna be, or rather want to be Dusty in those days!

I only want to be with you is one of those teenage I got such a crush on you songs that Dusty Springfield loved to sing. In the eighties, it was British singer Samantha Fox – you know, the one who became famous after appearing in the newspapers just when she had forgotten to put on a T-shirt? – who covered the song in a sort of post-disco-era version of which we asked ourselves: ‘Was this really necessary?’

Numerous other covers of the song have been made, and we particularly like Annie Lennox’s version with her first band called The Tourists: there are nice guitar riffs and interesting vocal harmonies. And if you want a rather disconcerting version, then listen to Volbeat and watch the soft horror video clip that goes with it.

Did you know that Dusty hosted a television program in the sixties in which she actively promoted soul singers? She would receive Motown artists who already were famous in America, but had yet to start to make it in Europe.

Dusty was a perfectionist. She would go to great ends to make the perfect recording. The story goes that she hated the Philips Recording Studios and preferred to tape her songs in the ladies toilets because of the great acoustics there. Of course…. Don’t we all like singing in the bathroom!

Therefore, keep singing. Even in rough times like these. If you find yourself humming a song, hum a bit more, perhaps look up the lyrics, perhaps find the song on the web. Then turn up the volume and have a good time with yourself and the music.

As always, viva la musica!