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Various Artists

Happy Times: The Songs Of Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham Vol 2

Ace Records

Released: 15th January 2021

CD£12.99 Buy Now In Stock. Dispatched today.

We've been enjoying this on an almost daily basis since before Christmas. Happy Times is Ace's latest fantastic installment of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham songs.
Another two-dozen stellar collaborations that go even deeper into their sheaf of copyrights than previous volumes.

Here they feature tracks from the heroic duo's time working together in Muscle Shoals and Memphis, with a broad spread of repertoire that embraces deep soul, southern pop, sweet soul and country. Star names include Dan’s pet project the Box Tops, Sandy Posey, Wilson Pickett, Ronnie Milsap, Dee Dee Sharp, B.J. Thomas, the Ovations and many others whose careers intersected in the 60s with those of Dan and Spooner.

We end the collection with a rarity in their catalogue – an instrumental, featuring Spooner on piano. This quiet, reflective tune in waltz-time was cut at FAME in 1966 and leased to Chess as the flipside to the groovy ‘Two In The Morning’. The tape box for both tunes credits the artist as the Len Spoon Trio, although that had become Spooner’s Crowd by the time the record was issued. Every soul fan with their salt will know ‘Two In The Morning’ but ‘I’ll Be Your Baby’ has never been reissued in 54 years. It provides an unusual and delightful closer.

Almost none of the recordings featured here have been on any previous Ace CD. Many have never been on CD at all. With a booklet chock-full of information and illustrations, and the usual Ace attention to detail in the annotation, Happy Times is another salute to the words and music of these magnificent songwriters.