Songwriters Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham are among six people who were selected Friday to be inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 2013.
Board members voted Friday on recommendations presented to the board by an induction committee.
The induction ceremony has been tentatively scheduled for September 2013 in Birmingham. The last induction ceremony was in 2010 in Montgomery.
In his typical low-key, laid-back manner, Oldham said he was happy to receive the honor.
“I was over at FAME yesterday, and Rodney Hall said he thought I’d be inducted,” Oldham said. “I didn’t know about Dan, but I’m glad.”
Hall is chairman of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
Oldham said he was enjoying his first day at home in a couple weeks. He’s been out on the road playing keyboards with Pegi Young’s touring band, then traveled to visit his daughter in Los Angeles.
He spent Thanksgiving on the West Coast, then returned home, only to travel to Nashville for a recording with pop artist Jewel. On Thursday he was doing overdubs at FAME.
He has no intention of slowing down, he said.
“Through the years, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to play with many talented people, doing song demos with song publishers, to be in good studios around the country with great musicians, producers and recording engineers,” Oldham said. “As a songwriter, I’ve co-written with some great friends and, Lord willing, I’ll continue doing what I like the most, being a recording session musician, a songwriter and as a touring band member.”
Penn had a similar reaction to the news.
“I appreciate the fact that they want to do that before I die,” Penn said from his home in Nashville. “I did some important work down there, and I still love Alabama.”
Penn said he still has a residence in his hometown of Vernon. He estimates he’s spent about 55 years in the music business.
“I still write one every once in a while, still putting out records and playing a gig every once in a while,” Penn said. “I’m staying with it as long as I can. I still enjoy the music. If it ever gets to where I can’t enjoy what I’m doing, I’ll retire or something. I don’t think you can ever retire as a musician. You just change the gig you’re doing.”
The announcement of the 2013 class of inductees was during a special meeting Friday of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame Board of Directors.
Penn and Oldham were selected to be inducted individually in the Music Creators category.
Soul singer Candi Staton and the late country artist Hank Locklin were selected to be inducted into the Performing Artist category.
Broadcaster and music business executive Charlie Monk will be inducted in the Entertainment Industry category, and the late jazz artist Sun Ra will receive the John Herbert Orr Pioneer Award.
Board members agreed some of the artists selected for induction have been overlooked.
“I think Hank Locklin has been overlooked for a long time,” board member Norbert Putnam said.
Hall said many people mistakenly assume that Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham are already members of the hall of fame.
He stressed that Penn and Oldham are being inducted individually and not as a writing team.
The board still has to vote on several contemporary awards that also are presented during the induction banquet.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.
An eclectic jazz musician, band leader, composer, Sun Ra was born in Birmingham in 1946 and died in 1993. He led the “Arkestra” and infused his music with a philosophy that mixed space-age science fiction and ancient Egyptian mythos.
Daniel Pennington was born in Vernon and moved to the Muscle Shoals area as a teenager. He worked with artists that include Joe Simon, Jimmy Hughes, Percy Sledge and Wilson Pickett. His early collaborations with Spooner Oldham produced hits like “I’m Your Puppet,” “Out In Left Field” and “It Tears Me Up.”
Staton is a soul and gospel singer born in Hanceville. She recorded at Rick Hall’s FAME Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals and is known for her 1970 version of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man.” She’s sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Southern Soul.”
Locklin was born in Florida but spent many years in Brewton in south Alabama. He is considered by some to be the first “honky tonk” country singer, known for his clear, tenor voice. He was a mainstay on the Grand Ole Opry and is known for his 1960 hit “Please Help Me, I’m Falling.”
Songwriter and keyboardist Dewey Lindon Oldham is a native of Center Star and is known for his collaborations with artists like Dan Penn and Neil Young. On April 4, 2009, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the sideman category.
Monk has worked in the music business for 50 years and has been called the “Honorary Mayor of Music Row.” Monk hosts “The Charlie Monk Show” on Sirus/XM Radio. Monk signed young songwriters Kenny Chesney and Randy Travis to their first songwriting deals.