Two in the Morning

Spooner's Crowd Two in the Morning 45 (Cadet, 1966)

My god, what is there to write about Spooner Oldham (nee Dewey Lyndon Oldham)? With Dan Penn, he was part of one of the greatest song-writing teams ever, creating classics like I'm Your Puppet, Dark End of the Street, Sweet Inspiration, and others. As part of Fame Studios band in Muscle Shoals, he played on so many important R&B recordings, listing them all is the work of a historian, not a mere record fiend - but leave it at Aretha Franklin's Do Right Man and Percy Sledge's When a Man loves a Woman and you have two of the most influential soul songs of all time. At this point, I am going to spare you the rundown and suggest you read Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music, a book that should be in every music lover's library.

Two in the Morning was recorded in 1966 at Fame Studios. It is one of the earlier records Oldham appeared on and there are so many great things about it - strange quirks that work, a nice gritty sound, a solid funky groove, his Monk-influenced keyboard jabs - that I'll just leave it to you to listen to.

What a great record! I haven't heard much of the early Penn or Oldham 45s, but I agree wholeheartedly about Guralnick's book. It should be required reading for anyone that considers themselves a "soul" fan.
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