Thursday, September 5, 2013

40 Year Itch: Nobody's One and Only

By writing songs like "Dark End of the Street" and The Box Tops "Cry Like A Baby", Dan Penn can claim to have invented the country soul sound. Not that he would. This modest, self deprecating man told Mojo Magazine he made his brilliant solo debut album because he didn't have anything else to do.

Dan Penn and Alex Chilton

 Alex Chilton would eventually cover the title track but the song was written for Elvis.

Penn may sing with an unadorned down in the mouth soul sound, but check out the inventive instrumental arrangements, especially on "Raining in Memphis".
 "Burt Bacharach meets Paul Buckmaster" ?

   The album didn't sell well.

The only Dan Penn record on the charts at that time was Ronnie Milsap's cover of "I Hate You", a Top 10 country hit in September of 1973.


  1. go listen to Dan Penn's Fame Recordings (recorded 1963-67 but not released until 2013). The best album you'll hear this year. Then listen to The Letter by the BoxTops. Listen to the voice of 16 year old Alex Chilton. Listen to Dan Penn again. Check who produced The Letter. Hmm Dan Penn . . . no it couldn't be . . .

    1. Based on Phil and NPR's suggestions, I'm going to request this for my birthday. Thanks for reading!