The story behind James Carr’s “At The Dark End Of The Street”:
It amazes me that THIS is the story behind one of the best soul songs ever recorded:
It was the Summer of ‘66, and Memphis was chock full of DJs in town for a convention. Songwriter Dan Penn and session guitarist Chip Moman were taking advantage of the situation, cheating Florida DJ Don Schroeder out of his money in a card game.
They wrote the song about two lovers in an illicit affair while on break from the game. ”We were always wanting to come up with the best cheatin’ song ever,” Penn explained.
They went to Quentin Claunch, partner in Goldwax Records and a fellow alumnus of the Muscle Shoals music scene, and asked to borrow his hotel room for a half hour. He agreed, on the condition that whatever song they wrote, they give it to Claunch for his singer, James Carr. A deal was struck and the rest is history.
Terrific song. A Youtube search will show you all the cover versions out there.
One of my favorite new-to-me songs from earlier this summer.