|Birth name||Dewey Lindon Oldham, Jr.|
|Born||June 14, 1943|
Center Star, Alabama
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 (The Way I Love You)". 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).
Oldham is a native of Center Star, Alabama, United States. He was blinded in his right eye as a child; when reaching for a frying pan, he was hit in the eye by a spoon he knocked from a shelf. Schoolmates gave him the name "Spooner" as a result.
Oldham started his career in music by playing piano in a Dixieland jazz band while at Lauderdale County 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 with Penn at Chips Moman's American Studios.
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, Aretha Franklin, 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, Frank Black, and The Mountain Goats.
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.
In 1993, he joined a host of Memphis soul music veterans to record Arthur Alexander's comeback and un-intended final studio recording, the album Lonely Just Like Me.
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.
Pot Luck (Family Productions, 1972)
This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (March 2020)
With Arthur Alexander
- 1962: You Better Move On (Dot Records)
- 1993: Lonely Just Like Me (Elektra)
With Shelby Lynne
- Tears, Lies and Alibis (Everso, 2010)
With Steve Cropper
- Dedicated – A Salute to the 5 Royales (429 Records, 2011)
With Neil Young
- Comes a Time (Reprise Records, 1978)
- Old Ways (Reprise Records, 1985)
- Silver & Gold (Reprise Records, 2000)
- Prairie Wind (Reprise Records, 2005)
With Billy Ray Cyrus
- The SnakeDoctor Circus (BBR, 2019)
With Rita Coolidge
- Rita Coolidge (A&M Records, 1971)
With Linda Ronstadt
- Don't Cry Now (Asylum Records, 1973)
With Wilson Pickett
- The Exciting Wilson Pickett (Atlantic Records, 1966)
- The Wicked Pickett (Atlantic Records, 1967)
- The Sound of Wilson Pickett (Atlantic Records, 1967)
With John Prine
- Aimless Love (Oh Boy Records, 1984)
- A John Prine Christmas (Oh Boy Records, 1994)
With Jennifer Warnes
- Jennifer (Reprise Records, 1972)
With Aretha Franklin
- Aretha Arrives (Rhino Records, 1967)
- Lady Soul (Rhino Records, 1968)
- Aretha Now (Atlantic Records, 1968)
- Soul '69 (Atlantic Records, 1969)
With Dan Penn
- Nobody's Fool (Bell Records, 1973)
- Do Right Man (Sire Records, 1994)
- Moments From This Theatre (Proper American, 1999)
- Something About the Night (Dandy Records, 2016)
With Frank Black
- Honeycomb (Cooking Vinyl, 2005)
- Fast Man Raider Man (Cooking Vinyl, 2006)
- Pieces of You (Atlantic Records, 1995)
With Bob Seger
- Beautiful Loser (Capitol Records, 1975)
With Jackson Browne
- For Everyman (Asylum Records, 1973)
With Tony Joe White
- Closer to the Truth (Festival Records, 1991)
With Sheryl Crow
- Threads (Big Machine Records, 2019)
With J. J. Cale
- 8 (Mercury Records, 1983)
- Travel-Log (Silvertone Records, 1990)
- Number 10 (Silvertone Records, 1992)
- Closer to You (Virgin Records, 1994)
With Amos Lee
- Last Days at the Lodge (Blue Note Records, 2008)
With Josh Groban
- Illuminations (143 Records, 2010)
With Maria Muldaur
- Maria Muldaur (Reprise Records, 1973)
- Waitress in a Donut Shop (Reprise Records, 1974)
With Bob Dylan
- Saved (Columbia Records, 1980)
With Keith Richards
- Crosseyed Heart (Reprise Records, 2015)
With Boz Scaggs
- Memphis (429 Records, 2013)
With Peter Parcek
- Mississippi Suitcase (Lightnin' Records, 2020)
- ^ "Spooner Oldham's Concert & Tour History | Concert Archives". Concertarchives.org. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
- ^ "spooner oldham". Light In The Attic Records. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
- ^ Kurutz, Steve. "Spooner Oldham Biography". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- ^ "Spooner Oldham". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved 2 October 2021.
- ^ "Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham - Old souls". Nodepression.com. January 2006.
- ^ https://www.al.com/birmingham-box-set/2013/08/post_30.html[bare URL]
- ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 918. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
- ^ Hasted, Nick (5 November 1999). "Music: Good ol' boys in the hood". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-05-24.
- ^ "Spooner Oldham Biography". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- ^ "Arthur Alexander "Lonely Just Like Me"". Discogs.com. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- ^ "Arthur Alexander "Lonely Just Like Me - The Final Chapter"". Discogs.com. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- ^ "Arthur Alexander "Lonely Just Like Me"". Stereophile.com. 15 July 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
- ^ "6 slated for Alabama Music Hall of Fame". The Miami Herald. Associated Press. 28 February 2014.
- ^ "Spooner Oldham "Pot Luck"". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
- ^ "Dan Penn And Spooner Oldham - Moments From This Theatre". Discogs.com. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
- ^ Gunther, Marty. "Peter Parcek – Mississippi Suitcase | Album Review". Bluesblastmagazine.com. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
- "Spooner Oldham". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Spooner Oldham discography at Discogs
- Spooner Oldham at IMDb
- Spooner Oldham Interview, NAMM Oral History Library (2017)
- 1943 births
- Living people
- American session musicians
- Songwriters from Alabama
- Musicians from Alabama
- People from Lauderdale County, Alabama
- Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section members
- Drive-By Truckers members
- American rock keyboardists
- American rock pianists
- American male pianists
- American organists
- American male organists
- Rhythm and blues pianists
- American soul keyboardists
- 20th-century American pianists
- 21st-century American keyboardists
- 21st-century American pianists
- 21st-century organists
- 20th-century American male musicians
- 21st-century American male musicians
- 20th-century American keyboardists
- Proper Records artists
- American male songwriters
- The Stray Gators members