‘Do Right Woman’: ‘Worth the 160-Mile Detour From Nashville’

Travel Blog  •  Eva Holland  •  03.18.08 | 2:03 PM ET

Photo by micampe via Flickr (Creative Commons)

I’ve often felt frustrated that most of my favorite music was recorded years before I was born, and that instead of going to live shows, I have to visit museums. Not much of a substitute, right? But this week, one music history museum came close to filling that void.

Awhile back I wrote about rediscovering Dan Penn, a producer and songwriter at a couple of small-time studios that produced some big-time Southern soul: American Studios in Memphis and Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Last week I passed through Muscle Shoals to see the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, and the undisputed highlight, for me, was the songwriters’ corner.

Framed original lyrics of classic songs covered the walls—some of them written on napkins or paper bags—and a vintage jukebox was stocked with the recordings to match. Reading Penn’s original scribblings for “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” while listening to Aretha Franklin let loose on the chorus was worth the 160-mile detour from Nashville.

Here’s a good live performance.

Eva Holland is co-editor of World Hum. She is a former associate editor at Up Here and Up Here Business magazines, and a contributor to Vela. She's based in Canada's Yukon territory.

1 Comment for ‘Do Right Woman’: ‘Worth the 160-Mile Detour From Nashville’

lyrics 03.27.08 | 12:11 PM ET

very good information. thanks :)

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