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Posted: 2008 06-11


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The Rebel in the Beehive gets Smoky Wit It

Son of A Preacher Man was famously passed on by the #1 vocalist in the world, Aretha Franklin, but was then immediately snapped up by Dusty Springfield and turned into an international hit that managed that rare double-header of being embraced by both the pop world and musician’s underground.

In fact, Aretha was so mad at herself she went and recorded it later but couldn’t touch Dusty’s version. It’s become part of our musical landscape. Quentin Tarantino featured it prominently in Pulp Fiction; it’s been sampled or covered by about a million artists from Cypress Hill and Joss Stone to Dolly Parton and Liza Minelli; Elvis Costello was respectful enough to be at her funeral (in 1999).

There may not be any non-lip-synched versions of her doing this back when it was a hit (1968), but luckily she did this Royal Albert Hall show that was filmed in 1979.

This song is regularly included in pretty much every Greatest Songs of All Time list, and it’s such a treat to hear a good live version of a something we’ve only known one way before.

Dusty was a rebel in a beehive. She confounded all expectations of a sequined singer – first by going to South Africa and going off the reservation to play for a mixed audience that got her promptly deported and her shows canceled. She would walk out on stage looking like Tammy Wynette but then began belting out pain like Billie Holiday. There was finally an authentic woman’s voice pouring through the Top 40 speakers in the ‘60s. “Chick singers” back then were supposed to be happy love birds – think Petula Clark, Lulu, Cher, the Supremes. But Dusty was a liberating, empowering voice for women right at the time “women’s lib” was entering the vernacular.

Not only is this about having sex out in the back yard with dad inside, but it’s doing it with the preacher’s son! It’s amazing this wasn’t banned back in the “Louie Louie” days.

Being good isn’t always easy,
No matter how hard I try…

It amazing that nobody really showed up to run with this until Madonna well over a decade later. But here’s the original.


YouTube Uploader: Eagle Rock
Eagle Rock

For more info -

Dusty Springfield is Britain's greatest ever pop diva and the possessor of one of the finest and most soulful voices of all time. This concert, filmed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1979 in the presence of HRH Princess Margaret, captures Dusty at the height of her career. This track is taken from the Eagle Vision DVD "Live at the Royal Albert Hall".

Billy-Ray was a preacher's son
And when his daddy would visit he'd come along
When they gathered around and started talkin'
That's when Billy would take me walkin'
Out through the back yard we'd go walkin'
Then he'd look into my eyes
Lord knows to my surprise

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, ooh, he was

Bein' good isn't always easy
No matter how hard I try
When he started sweet-talkin' to me
He'd come and tell me everythings alright
He'd kiss and tell me everything is alright
Can I get away again tonight?

The only one who could ever reach me
Was the son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, ooh,lord no's he was

How well I remember
The look that was in his eyes
Stealin' kisses from me on the sly
Takin' time to make time
Tellin' me that he's all mine
Learnin' from each other's knowin'
Lookin' to see how much we're growin’

An the only one who could ever reach me was
A son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
Was the son of a preacher man
Yes he was, he was, oh yes he was
The only one who could ever reach me
he was a sweet talkin'son of a preacher man
The only boy who could ever teach me
I guess he was the son of a preacher man
the only one was a sweet talkin' son of a preacher man
The only one ...

Retrieved from Wikipedia:
Son of a Preacher Man on Wikipedia
"Son of a Preacher Man"
Single by Dusty Springfield
from the album Dusty in Memphis
B-sideJust a Little Lovin'
ReleasedNovember 8, 1968
RecordedAmerican Studios, Memphis, Tennessee: September 1968
GenreBlue-eyed soul, Rhythm and blues, rock
Writer(s)John Hurley, Ronnie Wilkins
ProducerJerry Wexler, Arif Mardin, Jeff Barry, Tom Dowd
Dusty Springfield singles chronology

"Son of a Preacher Man" is a song recorded by Dusty Springfield in September 1968 and featured on the album, Dusty in Memphis. Written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins, the rights to cover "Son of a Preacher Man" were originally offered to Aretha Franklin, who turned it down. It was only upon hearing Springfield's version that Franklin reconsidered and recorded the song herself. By that time, however, Springfield's version had already become a hit; thus, Franklin's version, included on her 1970 album, This Girl's In Love With You, charted only as a tag-along b-side of the single, "Call Me".

Springfield's version was produced by Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin for her first album for the Atlantic Records label and became an international hit reaching #10 in the United States and #9 in her native UK when released in late 1968. The album Dusty in Memphis was released in stereo though its singles were remixed and released in mono. "Son of a Preacher Man" was to be the last Top Ten chart hit for the artist for almost 20 years until she teamed up with Pet Shop Boys for the single "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" in 1987.


The writers of Rolling Stone magazine placed the release at #77 among The 100 Best Singles of the Last 25 Years in 1987. The record was placed at #43 of the Greatest Singles of All Time by the writers of New Musical Express in 2002. In 2004, the song made the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time[1] at #240.

Samples from "Son of a Preacher Man" were used on Cypress Hill's "Hits from the Bong" on their album Black Sunday in 1993 and on Adil Omar's "Known to Kick It" in 2008. In 1994 the song was featured in a scene of the film Pulp Fiction. In the movie, the song was a background for the scene of Mia Wallace (portrayed by Uma Thurman) making Vincent Vega (portrayed by John Travolta) wait on the intercom. The soundtrack reached No. 21 on the Billboard 200, and at the time, went platinum (1,000,000 units) in Canada alone.[2] "Son of a Preacher Man" helped to sell over 2 million units of the album[3] and to reach #6 on the charts according to SoundScan.[4] Quentin Tarantino has been quoted on the "Collectors Edition" DVD of Pulp Fiction as saying that he probably would not have done that scene had he not been able to use "Son of a Preacher Man". The song is also featured in the film Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, during scenes depicting Kenneth Lay, ex-Enron CEO and son of a Baptist minister. In the 2008 television episode of the American series The Office entitled "Baby Shower", Jan Levinson, played by Melora Hardin, is filmed singing "Son of a Preacher Man" as a lullaby to her newborn daughter Astrid.[5]

Cover versions

Canadian country music band Farmer's Daughter took a version of the song to #35 on the RPM Country Tracks charts in 1995.[6] Australian-born country singer Sherrié Austin also released a cover version, taking it to #46 on the U.S. Billboard country charts in 2004.[7]
There is a version in swiss german called "där Sohn vom Pfarrär" recorded in 1994 by Sina from Switzerland. Janis Joplin also performed this song.

The song has also been covered by Katey Sagal for an episode of the television show Sons Of Anarchy.

Hank Marvin covered the song on his 2000 album Marvin at the Movies.


  1. ^ "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  2. ^ Billboard; 1/28/95, Vol. 107 Issue 4, p62, 1/2p
  3. ^ Billboard, 00062510, 4/20/96, Vol. 108, Issue 16
  4. ^ Christian Science Monitor, 08827729, 9/8/97, Vol. 89, Issue 198
  5. ^ The Office[1], Season 5 Episode 3, aired Thursday, October 16. 2008
  6. ^ "RPM Country Tracks". RPM. 10 April 1995. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 36. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 

External links

  • Son of a Preacher Man at

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