Release Date: Available Now
Director: David Peck
Studio/Run Time: Reelin’ in the Years, 84 min.
Born in the U.K. and baptized in Memphis as the queen of blue-eyed soul, chanteuse Dusty Springfield left an indelible mark on pop music in the mid-20th century.
With her ascent, the ex cathedra roster of legitimate solo musicians was suddenly coed, and Springfield coolly one-upped the old boys’ club with her charming stage presence and booming, brassy alto. Once Upon a Time
, one of the first releases in a planned “British Invasion” series, serves as a workmanlike overview of Springfield’s career. This collection spans 20 live songs (including the legendary ’68 performance of “Son of a Preacher Man” on the Ed Sullivan Show
), and a trove of interviews and other archival footage. Despite slick editing, the presentation suffers from the grainy and faded quality of the source material, but even these ostensible flaws have their own vintage charms. And most tellingly, those four decades’ worth of pops and hisses haven’t softened Springfield’s stentorian, force-of-will vocals one bit.