Graham Reid | | <1 min read
Here's a long overdue collection, the songs of the Penn-Oldham songwriting team out of Alabama and Memphis whose songs were covered by the likes of Percy Sledge, Dionne Warwick, Charlie Rich, Etta James, Solomon Burke, the Box Tops and Irma Thomas, all of whom are here.
So here are 24 country-soul songs from their classic period in the Sixties (andJeanne Newman's previously unreleased It Tears Me Up), many recorded by production legends Chips Moman and Billy Sherrill (and Arthur Conley's In the Same Old Way produced by Otis Redding).
Among them are Burke with the self-pitying but sly Take Me Just As I Am, Art Freeman in Motown territory with Slippin' Around With You, the great Arthur Alexander with Cry Like a Baby (a hit for the Box Tops), the little known Tony Borders with a terrific version of I Met Her in Church (also covered with rock'n'soul ache by the Box Tops), country-pop princess Sandy Posey finding an aching soulful place on Are You Never Coming Home, Patti La Belle and the Buebells with Dreamer, the young Tony Joe White already sounding world-weary and broken on Watching the Trains Go By, Irma Thomas also making the Motown connection with Good Things Don't Come Easy . . .
And of course the Sweet Inspirations with the title track and their signature tune.
Classic black and blue-eyed soul.
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