Spooner Oldham

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Spooner Oldham
Birth name Dewey Lindon Oldham, Jr.
Born (1943-06-14) June 14, 1943 (age 75)
Center Star, Alabama
United States
Genres R&B, soul, rock
Occupation(s) Songwriter, session musician
Instruments Piano, keyboards, organ
Years active 1960s–present
Associated acts
Website spooneroldhammusic.com

Dewey Lindon "Spooner" Oldham (born June 14, 1943) is an American songwriter and session musician. An organist, he recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, at FAME Studios as part of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section on such hit R&B songs as Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman", Wilson Pickett's "Mustang Sally", and Aretha Franklin's "I Never Loved a Man".

As a songwriter, Oldham teamed with Dan Penn to write such hits as "Cry Like a Baby" (the Box Tops), "I'm Your Puppet" (James and Bobby Purify), and "A Woman Left Lonely" and "It Tears Me Up" (Percy Sledge).[1]


A native of Center Star, Alabama, Oldham started out playing piano in bands during high school. He then attended classes at the University of North Alabama but turned instead to playing at FAME Studios. He moved to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1967 and teamed up with Penn at Chips Moman's American Studios.[2]

Oldham later moved to Los Angeles and has continued to be a sought-after backing musician, recording and performing with such artists as Bob Dylan, Delaney Bramlett, Willy DeVille, Joe Cocker, the Hacienda Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, the Everly Brothers, Bob Seger, Dickey Betts, Cat Power, J. J. Cale, and Frank Black.

Frequently a backing musician for Neil Young, he played on Young's critically acclaimed 1992 album Harvest Moon. Oldham also appeared in the concert film Neil Young: Heart of Gold and backed Crosby Stills Nash & Young on their 2006 "Freedom of Speech" tour.[3]

In 2007, Oldham toured with the Drive-By Truckers on their "The Dirt Underneath" tour. In 2008, Oldham played on Last Days at the Lodge, the third album released by folk/soul singer Amos Lee. In May 2011, Oldham backed Pegi Young on a six-show tour of California.


Oldham was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 as a sideman. In 2014, he was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.[4]


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