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Rick Springfield (born Richard Lewis Springthorpe on 23 August 1949 in Sydneymarker, Australia) is an Australian-Americanmarker songwriter, musician and actor. As a musician, he is most famous for the 1981 #1 single "Jessie's Girl", which became a Grammy Award-winning landmark of 1980s pop-rock and helped establish the emerging music video age. As an actor, Springfield's best known role is that of the character Dr. Noah Drake on the daytime drama General Hospital. He originated the character from 1981-1983 and then returned to play him again from 2005 until 2008 . He then appeared on Don't Forget The Lyrics in January 2009 to sing "Jessie's Girl" and his new song "What's Victoria's Secret". He stayed until the show was over . On March 19, 2009, he played a gig in support of "Voices of Uganda" at the Key Club in Los Angeles. The gig was co-organized by fellow General Hospital alum, actress Melissa Fitzgerald.

Background

Springfield grew up in a military family and moved frequently, as his father was posted to various military bases throughout Australia and Great Britain. Springfield started playing piano at the age of 9 and the guitar at the age of 13. He first wrote songs when he was 14.

Musical career

In 1967, Springfield dropped out of high school to begin his professional music career. His first appearance in a band was as a singer/guitarist in the band Rock House. In 1968, the band changed the name to MPD, Ltd, then embarked on a tour of Vietnammarker to entertain the troops stationed there.

In 1969, when Springfield returned to Australia, he formed a band named Wickedy Wak with MPD bandmates Danny Finley and Paul Shannon, along with a keyboardist who went by the name of Ray Wight. Later that year, he joined the band Zoot. Zoot became one of the most popular Australian groups of the late 1960s. Another notable member of Zoot was Beeb Birtles, who went on to form the Little River Band in 1975. In May 1971, when Zoot broke up, Springfield began a solo career. He had a #1 hit single in Australia, "Speak to the Sky."

After his success in Australia, the 22-year-old Springfield relocated to Hollywood, Californiamarker in 1972. Capitol Recordsmarker signed him, and he recorded his first album Beginnings. "Speak to the Sky" was re-released as a single in the US, and reached #14 in the Billboard Top 100. Exposure on American Bandstand, as well as being regularly featured in teen fan magazines such as 16 magazine and Tiger Beat, sparked interest amongst teenage girls. In 1973, a Saturday morning cartoon called Mission: Magic! was centered around Springfield and ran for one year, with a soundtrack album also released.

Radio stations became suspicious of the album "Beginnings" and refused to play it, because of rumours that the record company, Capitol Records, was paying people to purchase it. Capitol denied the rumour, but Springfield was subsequently dropped from the label. However, he was signed by Columbia Records in 1973, who released his second album Comic Book Heroes (1974). It received very good reviews from Rolling Stone Magazine, but it failed to chart. Springfield was dropped from that label as well, and plans to release an album entitled Springfield were also scrapped.

In 1976, Springfield released a third album Wait for Night under the Chelsea Records label. But while he was out touring to promote the album, the record company went bankrupt. Despite one single, "Take A Hand", grazing the Top 40, the album still fell off the charts and was reissued by RCA in 1982. Throughout the rest of the 1970s, Springfield performed in various clubs on the Sunset Strip and throughout Los Angelesmarker, but was unable to maintain a career at the top of the charts.

After a break of several years to do some acting (see section below), Springfield returned to music in 1981 with the album Working Class Dog. Most notable on this album were the singles "Jessie's Girl", which went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The single was certified Gold and went on to sell close to two million copies in the United State alone. The follow-up single was "I've Done Everything for You" which was written by Sammy Hagar, and reached #8 on Billboard. Springfield won a Grammy in 1982 for "Best Male Rock Vocal Performance" for "Jessie's Girl". Springfield was also nominated for a second Grammy in 1982 and a third Grammy in 1983. His subsequent release in 1982, the album Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet, also contained a string of top 40 hits including the #2 hit "Don't Talk to Strangers" and the ballad "What Kind of Fool Am I?"

His 1983 album Living in Oz contained more serious subject matter, and more of a hard-rock sound. The album went platinum on the strength of the hits "Human Touch", "Souls", and "Affair of the Heart". That same year he won an American Music Award for "Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist" along with John Cougar Mellencamp.

His 1984 single "Love Somebody" (from the soundtrack album to the Hard to Hold movie he starred in that year) was his last top ten hit in the U.S. to date, reaching #5 on the Billboard singles chart. He stopped touring in 1985, for the birth of his first son, Liam. Also in 1984, Mercury Records released Beautiful Feelings which were unreleased sessions Springfield recorded in 1978 remixed with new instrumentation. Springfield took out advertisements in the music press decrying the release. Despite the controversy, "Beautiful Feelings" reached number 78 on the LP charts, and a single, "Bruce", a song about people mistaking Springfield for Bruce Springsteen, hit number 27 on the Hot 100.

Springfield was one of several performers who participated in the Live Aid charity concert. After releasing the album Tao in 1985, Springfield chose to take a break from recording to spend more time with his family, and to deal with the depression that had affected him since his adolescence.

In 1987, Springfield returned to the studio and released the album Rock of Life. The next year, he was seriously injured in an all-terrain vehicle accident. Since he was unable to play the guitar for six months, the planned tour to promote his album was canceled. It would be nearly a decade before Springfield would return to the studio to record the albums Sahara Snow (1997) and Karma (1999).

From 1999 onward, he has held several concert tours throughout North America. In February 2004, he released the critically acclaimed album "Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance" (in short S/D/A/A) on his own "Gomer Record" label. It went up to #8 on the Top Independent Albums chart, and #22 on Top Internet Album Sales chart.

In 2005, Springfield released The Day After Yesterday - a collection of his covers of "songs [he] wish[es] [he] had written."

On April 28, 2006, Springfield performed a medley of his hits at the 33rd Daytime Emmy Awards, and received an enthusiastic response, which included a standing ovation from his acting peers. Springfield's latest release is a live concert DVD entitled Live in Rockford.

In late August 2007, Springfield took part in the Countdown Spectacular 2 concert series in Australia. It was the first time he had performed live in Australia for thirty five years. In August 2008, he released Venus in Overdrive which debuted on Billboard at #28. He also performed the first single "What's Victoria's Secret" on General Hospital as Eli Love.

Springfield was also a judge for the eighth annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists.

Acting career

Because of various issues regarding the management of his recording career and uncertainty with immigration paperwork, in the 1970s Springfield decided to branch off into acting. He had already starred in the cartoon series Mission: Magic, produced by Filmation in 1973, where he appears in the animated format, along with the teacher Miss Tickle and her teenaged students. In 1978, he became one of the last contract actors signed to Universal Studios, and appeared in several guest roles in series such as The Incredible Hulk , Wonder Woman, and The Rockford Files. He also had a brief role as Zac in the 1978 movie Battlestar Galactica, and a small recurring role on the soap opera The Young and The Restless.

In 1981, Springfield became a soap opera star on General Hospital. He had signed a contract with RCA Records and already recorded the album Working Class Dog, which neither he nor his agent had expected would do very well, which is why Springfield took the soap role. But the song "Jessie's Girl" went to #1, and Springfield ended up both playing the role of Dr. Noah Drake from 1981 through 1983, while simultaneously going on tour with his band. The success of the song boosted the ratings of the show, which according to Springfield "became the biggest show on TV for that summer," and the fame from the show likewise boosted the sale of the song.

In 1984, Springfield made one full length feature film Hard to Hold. It was considered a box office failure, but the movie did produce a successful soundtrack with a top ten song "Love Somebody."

Springfield also played the role of Nick Knight in the original Nick Knight TV movie in 1989, a role later taken up by Geraint Wyn Davies in the series Forever Knight. Despite the fact that he played a young rock star in Hard to Hold, in real life Springfield was already in his 30s, had become a husband and father, and was growing uncomfortable with the teen idol image he portrayed.

Throughout the 1990s, Springfield acted in several made-for-TV movies, and appeared in television shows such as Suddenly Susan. In 1992, he starred in the suspense detective series Human Target. From 1994 to 1996, he also starred in another detective series, High Tide.

In addition to the roles on television and in film, Springfield also acted in musical theatre. In 1995, he was a member of the original Broadwaymarker cast of the musical Smokey Joe's Cafe. This Tony Award-nominated musical featured the songs of rock & roll songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. From February 2000 through December 2002, Springfield performed in EFX Alive! at the MGM Grandmarker in Las Vegasmarker, Nevadamarker to critical acclaim.

In 2001, he appeared in the film Dying to Dance, which also starred another General Hospital actor, Kimberly McCullough (Robin Scorpio).

Rick stars in several episodes of the third Season of "Showtime"'s Californication His first appearance was in episode 3 on October 11 2009. in which plays a "twisted version of himself;" a "hedonistic Rick Springfield" from the past.

General Hospital

In December 2005, Springfield was asked by the General Hospital producers to return to the show, and he returned to his role as Dr. Noah Drake after a 23-year absence. His run was subsequently extended, although as of 2007 he remains a guest star on recurring status, and not a full contract cast member. In July 2007, a new storyline was introduced with another character also played by Springfield, Eli Love, "a 1980s rock star" who just happens to look exactly like Dr. Drake. The storyline requires Drake, who hates musicians, to fill in for an injured Eli Love at a charity concert. In the summer of 2008, he returned as both Noah Drake and Eli Love. On July 29, 2008, he performed his latest single "What's Victoria's Secret" on the show.In 2007, Springfield did a benefit concert in Cape Girardeau, Missouri for Sahara Aldridge, who was suffering with brain cancer, and whose family was friends with Springfield. Aldridge died shortly afterwards at the age of 14, and his 2008 album, "Venus In Overdrive" is dedicated to her.

Personal life

In 1974, Springfield dated and lived with then 15-year-old actress Linda Blair. He considered it his first "grown up" relationship, despite nearly 10 years difference in their ages.

He married Barbara Porter (October 27, 1984). They met in 1980 while she was working as a receptionist at the recording studio where he recorded his 1981 album Working Class Dog. They have two sons: Liam, born in 1985, and Josh, born in 1989.

In 1985, when his son was born, Springfield took a break from his musical career to spend more time with his family, and to deal with the depression that had affected him since his adolescence. He had also wrestled with depression in the 1970s, when the serious illness of his father (who died on April 24, 1981) and career troubles caused him to "hit the wall" and contemplate suicide.

In 2006, Springfield became a citizen of the United Statesmarker, while retaining his Australian citizenship.

In 2009, he made a surprise appearance on Don't Forget the Lyrics! to commemorate the contestant's love for the 1980s. He sang "Jessie's Girl".

Philanthropy

In 2005, Springfield signed on as an official supporter of Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that provides free musical instruments and instruction to children in underserved public schools throughout the USA. He has headlined at benefit concerts for the organization, and sits on its Honorary Board of Directors.

Awards



Discography

Studio albums

Year Album U.S. Billboard 200
1972 Beginnings 35
1973 Comic Book Heroes
1974 Mission Magic
1976 Wait for Night
(Re-released by RCA in 1981)
1981 Working Class Dog 7
1982 Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet 2
1983 Living in Oz 12
1984 Hard to Hold 16
1985 Tao 21
1988 Rock of Life 55
1999 Karma 189
2004 Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance
2005 The Day After Yesterday 197
2007 Christmas With You
2008 Venus in Overdrive 28
2009 My Precious Little One: Lullabies For A New Generation


Other releases

Year Album U.S. Billboard 200
1984 Beautiful Feelings
(New instrumentation of songs originally recorded in 1978, published without Rick's consent)
78
1997 Sahara Snow (With Tim Pierce and Bob Marlette)
2001 The Greatest Hits ALIVE
2003 Platinum & Gold Collection: Rick Springfield
2005 Written in Rock—Anthology
2006 Live in Rockford (DVD concert)
2007 The Early Sound City Sessions
(Original recordings from 1978 that later became Beautiful Feelings in 1984)


Singles

Year Song U.S. Hot 100 U.S. MSR U.S. AC UK Singles Chart Album
1972 "Speak to the Sky" 14 Beginnings
"What Would the Children Think" 70
1974 "American Girls" 98 Anthology - The Ultimate Collection (1998)
1976 "Take a Hand" 41 Wait for Night
1981 "Jessie's Girl" 1 10 43 Working Class Dog
"I've Done Everything for You" 8
"Love Is Alright Tonight" 20 40
1982 "Don't Talk to Strangers" 2 11 30 Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet
"What Kind of Fool Am I" 21
"I Get Excited" 32
1983 "Affair of the Heart" 9 23 Living in Oz
"Human Touch" 18 34 23
"Souls" 23
1984 "Love Somebody" 5 Hard to Hold
"Bop 'Til You Drop" 20
"Don't Walk Away" 26
"Taxi Dancing" (duet with Randy Crawford) 59 16
"Bruce" 27 Beautiful Feelings
1985 "Celebrate Youth" 26 Tao
"State of the Heart" 22
1988 "Rock of Life" 22 Rock of Life
2004 "Beautiful You" 28 Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance
2008 "What's Victoria's Secret" Venus in Overdrive


References

  1. According to the 2005 A&E documentary Rick Springfield: Behind The Image.
  2. Etonline.com
  3. PRLog
  4. Independent Music Awards - 8th Annual IMA Judges
  5. ITDb: Show Query: Smokey Joe's Cafe
  6. Review of EFX Alive, starring Springfield by Chuck Rounds on Igoshows.com
  7. GH News | Rick Springfield Returning to GH | General Hospital @ soapcentral.com
  8. [1]
  9. Rick Springfield
  10. Rick Springfield RLS Fan Site
  11. Fox News, "American TV Icon: Rick Springfield", O'Reilly Factor, December 27, 2007.
  12. Radio 94.5 "The Buzz" Interview, February 2, 2006
  13. Soapography, "Rick Springfield and Kimberly McCullough", aired June 16, 2007 on SOAPnet


External links




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