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"Son of a Preacher Man" is a classic song recorded by Dusty Springfield in September 1968 and featured on the album, Dusty in Memphis. It was written by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins. The rights to record "Son of a Preacher Man" were originally offered to Aretha Franklin, who turned it down. The song however was recorded by Aretha's elder sister Erma Franklinand was included on her 1969 Brunswick album 'Soul Sister'. It was only upon hearing Springfield's version, a UK and American hit in 1968, that Aretha Franklin reconsidered and recorded the song herself including it on her 1970 album, This Girl's in Love with You, and it charted only as a less popular a-side of the b-side hit 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 Timeby 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 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 byJohn Travolta) wait on the intercom. The soundtrack reached No. 21 on the Billboard 200, and at the time, went platinum (100,000 units) in Canada alone. "Son of a Preacher Man" helped to sell over 2 million units of the album and to reach #6 on the charts according to SoundScan. 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 byMelora Hardin, is filmed singing "Son of a Preacher Man" as a lullaby to her newborn daughter Astrid.
Country singer Peggy Little released a cover version in 1969 that peaked at #40 on the Billboard country charts.
Album track covers at the time of the Springfield/Franklin/Little hits include Skeeter Davis, Tina Turner, Bobbie Gentry, Liza Minnelli, Jan Howard, and Nancy Wilson. Tanya Tucker recorded a version in 1975 on her album Tanya Tucker.
Cam Clarke recorded the song in 1999, giving it a gay interpretation.
Sylvia Vrethammar recorded the song in Swedish as "En lärling på våran gård", which was released as a single in 1969  and entered the Svensktoppen chart the same year. In 2012, Pugh Rogefeldt recorded a variation of this version entitled "Fröken i våran klass" for the TV Show "Så mycket bättre".
Dolly Parton recorded the song in 1996 during sessions for her Treasures album, though the song was ultimately not included on the final album, and remained unreleased. Parton has performed the song live a few times on television shows, and included it in her set list during her 2011 Better Day World Tour.