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Sunday, October 23, 2011


even if they would have written only one of the three following songs: "I'm Your Puppet", "Dark End Of The Street" or "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man", the writing team of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham would go down in history as perhaps THE greatest writing duo in all of southern soul music. Not bad for a couple of young white fellas.

What is relatively unknown, however, is that Dan Penn is one of the greatest blue eyed soul voices as well; a pity, as his own recorded output is scant compared to his "behind the scenes" work. I saw Dan perform in new Orleans a few years back at Ponderosa Stomp, and the mere thought of the majesty of his voice performing THOSE songs makes the hair on the back of my neck stand at end. He may not be able to hit the high notes today as he did in this majestic recording, but his voice is so full of depth and passion that it can easily be ranked as one of the greatest in soul music, regardless of ANY color.

This record was one of the final collaborations Dan made with Muscle Shoals producer Rick Hall, before his move to Memphis and association with Chips Moman at American Studios. These collaborations resulted in a cache of music that is simply some of the finest to be recorded anywhere, by anyone.

This record shows the depth of Dan as an artist, and I am at a loss for words at describing its beauty. Curiously, this track was initially the b-side of the record (the a-side being a good but rather pointless cover of "Willie And The Hand Jive". Why would a man of this talent be reduced to covering a novelty number?). The tell-tale "X"'s on the label show that the promo person who sent the record out to radio knew better; THIS was the side.

from 1966...


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Anonymous said...

Don't forget that "Do Right" was written by Dan and Chips.

Now, my choice to complete the Spooner/Dan Triumvirate would have to be "Tears Me Up" as performed by the late great Percy Sledge.

gilhodges said...

This is a masterpiece. I can't stop listening to it. I, too, feel a particular thrill at hearing Penn sing his own songs. So many other artists with "better" voices performed Penn/Oldham numbers magnificently, but the directness of Penn's delivery of his own words is stunning. Thank you so much.

Jan said...


Jerry Lee said...

I had the pleasure of seeing Dan Penn open for the Hacienda Brothers at a small club a few years ago. Your comments are spot on, he has a truly amazing, soulful voice; I feel fortunate to have been there and heard him.

frenchie soul lover said...

didnt know that awesome tune ..!! that 's really a great artist singing and he deserves his hall of fame .still working and having albums out on dandy records .check out his site !