The Tom Springfield page
Tom Springfield was a major figure in the 1960's folk and pop music scene, initially as a performer in The Springfields vocal group, then latterly as a producer and songwriter, most notably for The Seekers. He wrote and produced a number of top 10 hits for them in the mid 1960's.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM: 80 today! - 2nd July 2014
1934: Born Dion O'Brien on 2nd July 1934 in London, England.
circa 1945-1952: Attended Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe, near
1952 - 1955: Nick Bowyer writes: regarding The Pedini Brothers. "The group consisted of Tom (Dion O'Brien), Peter
Miles Johnson (subsequently an actor who appeared regularly on Dr Who). Peter Priechenfried and me (Nick Bowyer). The name of the
group comes from the first two letters of our christian names ( how incredibly inventive and original). We sang and did gigs together
as often as possible but broke up because of National Service. We mainly sang Latin American which was very popular at the time, Early
1900s popular songs and Barbershop, and Russian songs adapted by Dion, who had learnt them at his Russian studies at Maresfield. We
were together from 1952 until 1955 but as I said somewhat spasmodically because of National Service and further education.
1960: Forms the folk based vocal group The Springfields, with his sister Mary O'Brien (Dusty Springfield) on vocals and Tim Field.
Band name was reportedly partly inspired by Tim's surname.
1961: The Springfields sign to Philips Records. 'Breakaway' and 'Bambino' are minor hits on the UK singles chart.
1962: Mike Hurst (ne Pickworth) on guitar/vocals, replaces Tim Field in the line up. 'Silver Threads and Golden Needles' reaches the
Top 20 in the USA (it was unusual at the time for a British act to chart in the USA) and number 1 in the Australian chart. Lead guitar
was by Judd Proctor, as confirmed to this site by Mike Hurst in 2007.
1963: 'Island of Dreams' written by Tom, reaches number 5 in the UK singles chart in March. 'Say I Won't Be There' reaches number
5 in the UK singles chart. The band splits in September, with a final concert at the London Palladium. Tom and Mike head for music
production (Mike will latterly work with Manfred Mann, Cat Stevens and Showaddywaddy among others, and is still active, see www.mikehurst.com),
whilst Dusty begins a successful solo singing career.
1964: In November, Tom begins production work with The Seekers, at EMI's Abbey Road studios. Sometime around this time, Tom sets up
a music publishing company, called Springfield Music.
1965: 'I'll Never Find Another You' by The Seekers, written and produced by Tom, reaches number 1 in the UK singles chart, number
3 in the USA, and number 1 in Australia. 'A World Of Our Own' by The Seekers, written and produced by Tom, reaches number 3 in the
UK singles chart, USA #15, Australia #2. 'The Carnival Is Over' by The Seekers, written and produced by Tom, reaches number 1 in the
UK singles chart. The music is adapted from an old Russian folk song.Tom also produces The Seekers album 'A World Of Our Own' during
1966: 'Walk With Me' by The Seekers, written and produced by Tom, reaches number 10 in the UK singles chart. 'Georgy Girl' by The
Seekers, produced by Tom, and written by Tom with lyrics by Carry On actor Jim Dale, and the title track from the soundtrack of the
film 'Georgy Girl', reaches number 3 in the UK singles chart, and number 1 in the US singles chart. Tom also produces the The Seekers
second album for EMI, 'Come The Day' during the year, the album includes Tom's 1963 hit with The Springfields, 'Island of Dreams'
and Tom and Jim Dale's 'Georgy Girl'.
1967: Tom splits amicably from The Seekers. 'On The Other Side', co-written by Tom with Gary Osborne and Bob Sage, is included on
The Seekers' self-produced (with Keith Grant) album, 'Seen In Green'.
Wrote and produced 'Just Lovin' You' for Anita Harris.
Adios Amour, written by Tom Springfield is recorded and released by Jose Feliciano.
1968: Tom releases a solo album 'Sun Songs' on the Decca recording label, the album is influenced by South American music and features
versions of a number of Brazilian standards. He will continue to write songs for a variety of artists, including himself and sister
Dusty. He will also write and record a number of TV and film theme tunes.
1969: Tom Springfield released a second LP on Decca called "Love's Philosophy" which featured a sonnet by Miss Dusty Springfield (as
stated on the sleeve). This album concentrates on self-composed material. The album included the duet "Morning Please Don't Come"
which Philips later released as a single. At this point Tom appears to retire from music.
1999: Tom's sister, Dusty Springfield, dies from cancer. Tom takes her ashes to Ireland and scatters them over the Cliffs of Moher.
Tom's name is on the death certificate as next of kin.
2000: Tom is reportedly in the audience at The Seekers UK tour concert at Wembley Arena, London on June 1st. He is believed to be
no longer actively involved in music. He did not contribute any songs to the Seekers 1997 reunion album Future Road. He lives
in London, UK.
2005: Tom's solo albums "Sun Songs" and "Love's Philosophy" are re-issued on CD (together on one CD), by Vocalion. Available from
Amazon and other record outlets.
If you can provide any more information about Tom's music career as detailed above, then please contact the webmaster. Thanks to those
people (you know who you are) who have made suggestions or corrections for this page)
Photo: At the wedding of Mike Hurst to Sarah Hearne in the 1960's, Tom (second left), Dusty Springfield, Mike Hurst, Sarah Hearne.
You can find the chords to some of the songs that Tom wrote for the Seekers on my site, here.
Tom writes and produces two singles for The Pattersons, 'I Don't Want To Be a Memory' and co-writes the following single 'Montego Bay'.
1954: Tom, still then known as Dion, has been assigned to the Intelligence Corps. depot in Maresfield, Sussex for National Service. Alan Willey writes: "He was very fond of Latin American music at the time and said he had had a band called the Pedini Brothers before being called up. He had a four string guitar with him and I had a six string. Another soldier, Arthur Silmon, had a nylon strung guitar and we got together to play some latin style songs which Dion sang in Spanish. We recorded two songs (direct to disc) at a small studio in Brighton. To my lasting regret I could not afford a copy out of my army pay of four shillings a day, but one song was El Cangacero (The Bandit) and the other was, I think, written by Dion and called Magdelena. Wonder if he still has a copy?"
I attach a poor photo of the Pedini Brothers on holiday in 1953. The girl in front is Peter P's sister. From the left Tom (Dion), Peter Miles, Nick Bowyer, Peter Priechenfried. We all sang. We were a singing rather than an instrumental group and any instrumental sound was just accompaniment. Tom was extremely proficient on both piano and guitar and played both by ear. The rest of us didn't play whilst performing. In Latin-american we played percussion instruments like maraccas, claves and bongo type drums. For Barbershop and ballads we sang a capella. Tom also played ragtime piano solos on gigs. Like his friend at Maresfield we made half a dozen vinyl recordings straight to disk (very expensive). Gawd only knows where they are now. We played them until there was more scratch than music. We had an audition with a chap called Mark Johns who was at that time music and radio critic at the Daily Mirror, but couldn't follow it up with National Service looming (even Elvis couldn't dodge that one)."
1964 — ASCAP award for "I'll Never Find Another You"
1965 — ASCAP award for "A World of Our Own"
1966 — Academy Award for Best Original Song for "Georgy Girl" (nominated)
2014: Tom is in the audience at the Seekers performance at the Royal Albert Hall, London on June 2nd. Tom turns 80 on 2nd July 2014.