Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A tribute to Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham

Have I posted about Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham before? Surely among the very best ever song-writers, and yet relatively little known. Here are a few of their songs, with links to blog posts featuring those songs (and usually either mp3 downloads or YouTube footage). (This post inspired by the Ella Moon song at Sir Shambling I reached via Andrew.)
Sometimes they've recorded their own songs too:
They've also played the music of other people:
And been backing musicians for others:
And produced the music of others:
And inspired still more:
And that's just for starters.

P.S. What's your favourite Penn and Oldham version?
P.P.S. How did I forget "Do Right Man, Do Right Woman", a Penn-Moman song, recorded by Aretha, Gram Parsons, William Bell and others.

P.P.P.S. Jogo sent me this list of YouTube videos of "Dark End of the Street" (comments are his):
There were a few more, but so completely out of their depths that I did not include them.

Bob's beats genre keywords: country music, soul music.
Bob's beats artist keywords: Penn and Oldham, Bettye Lavette, Dolly Parton.


Andrew Brown said...

Dark End of the Street is one of my favourite tracks.

I think that Spooner Oldham played on the Frank Black version that came out on his Honeycomb album.

I'd thoroughly recommend Lee Moses's Time and Place, although I'm not sure his cover of the song is the best but it does takes the most liberties with the lyrics. Moses somehow makes the song about cows, horses and mosquitoes "making love".

bob said...

Other readers please feel free to tell us your Penn and Oldham favourites!

jogo said...

More YouTube:

I'm Your Puppet --
James and Bobi Purfrey http://youtube.com/watch?v=CcD2iexGqZQ
Driveby Truckers (live, lively crowd): http://youtube.com/watch?v=BrUMbHhsoC8


If you want it come and get it (not Irma Thomas, but good. not too intelligible, but you get it. title a bit different, but it sounds like P&O)

You left the water running - Otis ... they do NOT write 'em (or sing 'em or arrange 'em) like this anymore.

BetteDillinger said...

It is sad that your friend didn't like the Diamanda version; she sings that way for a reason, and ironically she made the impression she was going for, IMO.

Bullets, Lipstick, and Music,

Ross said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ross said...

Your blog is showing great taste!

Your readers can listen to over 150versions of many of Dan Penn's songs at my site:


Regards - and keep blogging! Ross.