Wednesday, July 21, 2021

VA - The Songs Of Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham Vol. 01 [2011] Sweet Inspiration + Vol. 02 [2020] Happy Times (2 x CD's)


VA - The Songs Of Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham Vol. 01 [2011] Sweet Inspiration + Vol. 02 [2020] Happy Times (2 x CD's)

A long-overdue salute to two gentlemen whose names are synonymous with Southern Soul - but whose work, as this collection reveals, also extends into the realms of Country, Pop and Southern Rock. Many great writers emerged out of the Muscle Shoals music scene of the 1960's but few of them made quite the impact on popular music of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. Prolific together and apart, the two men are responsible for innumerable Hall-Of-Fame classics. 

VA - The Songs Of Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham Vol. 01 [2011] Sweet Inspiration

Sure, you know these songs. At least you do if you're over the age of forty and weren't raised in an Amish commune. Even if the title doesn't ring a bell, once you listen to the song, you'll have one of those "Oh, yeah!" moments. These are songs so delicious that they melt in your ears. Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham rank as one of the finest songwriting duos of the rock and soul era. From Muscle Shoals to Memphis, these guys are musical royalty. The songs they wrote are so well crafted that they could be covered by soul, blues, country, pop, or rock acts, and always sound like they were written especially for that artist. Many diverse examples of the duo's songwriting craft can be found on this 24-track compilation. It focuses on the duo's late 1960s output, with artists such as Percy Sledge, Dionne Warwick, Charlie Rich, Etta James, Solomon Burke, the Box Tops, Tony Joe White, Ronnie Milsap, Patti LaBelle, Irma Thomas, Tommy Roe, and Joe Simon performing a sumptuous bunch of songs. Needless to say, there's not a dud in the bunch. (Amazon)

VA - The Songs Of Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham Vol. 02 [2020] Happy Times

"Happy Times" brings you another two-dozen examples of their stellar collaborations and goes even deeper into their sheaf of copyrights than our previous volumes have done. Here we feature tracks from their time working together in Muscle Shoals and Memphis, with a broad spread of repertoire than embraces deep soul, sweet soul, southern pop, country and even an instrumental. Star names here include Dan's pet project the Box Tops, Sandy Posey, Wilson Pickett, Ronnie Milsap, B J Thomas and many others whose careers intersected in the 60's with those of Dan and Spooner - to everyone's advantage. Almost none of the versions of the songs featured here have been on any previous Ace CD. Many have never been on CD at all. (Amazon)

A wonderful salute to the words and music of these two magnificent songwriters.



Track lists

Volume 1

01 Percy Sledge Out of Left Field 3:29

02 Dionne Warwick I'm Your Puppet 3:03

03 The Sweet Inspirations Sweet Inspiration 2:54

04 Charlie Rich A Woman Left Lonely 3:16

05 Etta James I Worship the Ground You Walk On 2:26

06 The Ovations I'm Living Good (Version 2) 2:33

07 Solomon Burke Take Me (Just as I Am) 3:00

08 Arthur Alexander Cry Like a Baby 2:20

09 Jeanne Newman It Tears Me Up 3:09

10 Art Freeman Slippin' Around With You 2:57

11 Tony Borders I Met Her in Church 2:27

12 Sandy Posey Are You Never Coming Home 3:00

13 James Carr Let it Happen (Alternate Take) 2:38

14 Box Tops Everything I Am 2:18

15 Ted Taylor Feed the Flame 2:33

16 Tony Joe White Watching the Trains Go By 3:04

17 Arthur Conley In the Same Old Way 2:47

18 Ronnie Milsap Denver 3:21

19 Patti Labelle & the Bluebelles Dreamer 2:23

20 Irma Thomas Good Things Don't Come Easy 2:58

21 Wallace Brothers I Need Someone 2:29

22 Barbara Lynn He Ain't Gonna Do Right 2:54

23 Tommy Roe Wish You Didn't Have to Go 2:17

24 Joe Simon Let's Do it Over 2:22

Volume 2

01 June Conquest I Do 3:01

02 Tony Borders Cheaters Never Win 3:02

03 Box Tops Happy Times 1:45

04 Wilson Pickett Up Tight Good Woman 2:31

05 Sandy Posey Hey Mister 2:00

06 Bill Brandon Strangest Feeling 3:27

07 Yo Yo's Destroyed 2:18

08 Arthur Conley You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy 2:37

09 Guy Darrell Big Louie 2:40

10 Don Varner The Power of Love 2:54

11 Ovations I Need a Lot of Loving 2:29

12 Bobby Bare In the Same Old Way 2:40

13 Merrilee Rush Handy 2:50

14 Bobby Womack Broadway Walk 2:08

15 June Edwards My Man (My Sweet Man) 2:36

16 James & Bobby Purify Hello There 2:30

17 Dee Dee Sharp Help Me Find My Groove 2:59

18 Percy Sledge I Love Everything About You 2:19

19 Goodees Goodies 2:32

20 Art Freeman Everybody's Got to Cry Sometime 2:59

21 Jeanie Greene I'll Take Care of You 2:24

22 B.J. Thomas I Pray for Rain 2:54

23 Ronnie Milsap Blue Skies of Montana 3:26

24 Spooner's Crowd I'll Be Your Baby 2:13




  1. Replies
    1. Hi heartofstone,
      ...and just wait to until you hear these great songs. Enjoy!


  2. Great music.
    Everyone should have these, so I had them already in my collection. But thanks anyway to make them available for anyone who didn't have them.

  3. Thanks a lot for these great compilations! like they say everyone should have them and now i have too:) thanks to you Butterboy!

    1. Hi Coolruler,
      I hope you get maximum enjoyment from these 2 sets.


  4. Right before the pandemic shut everything down, I got to see Dan Penn do a solo show in NO. Was transformative. Thanks for this!

    1. Hi pmac,
      You story makes me jealous. I have never seen this artists in concert.


  5. Yes, I agree, what a great comp! full of great songs!
    Thanks for both volumes!

    1. You are very welcome, Il Commendatore.
      So many great tracks.


  6. Replies
    1. Hi Bob Neish,
      I hope others hear you...


  7. To complete my collection of these great songs. Dan Penn has recorded a lot of them. Very good singer as well. Many thanks again.

    1. You are welcome, Racati.
      I did post another Dan Penn set previously.