November 16, 1941
Dan Penn, a native of Vernon, AL., moved to the Shoals area while still a teenager and assumed the role of lead vocalist with one of the premier ensembles of the day, The Mark V Combo.
It was in the same year that he penned his first chart record, Conway Twitty's "Is A Bluebird Blue". During the early 60s, Penn began working with Rick Hall, first as an artist under then name Lonnie Wray, and later as the writer of hits for Joe Simon, James and Bobby Purify, Jimmy Hughes, Percy Sledge and Wilson Pickett.
In 1966, Penn moved to Memphis where he began writing for Press Publishing Company and producing records for American Recording Studio. In this dual role, Penn wrote and produced "The Letter" a recording by the Boxtops which sold four million.
Among the other hits written for Press music were "The Dark End Of The Street", "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man", "Cry Like A Baby", and "Sweet Inspiration". In 1970, Penn formed Dan Penn Music and has written "A Woman Left Lonely", "Hillbilly Heart", "Too Rock For Country, Too Country For Rock And Roll", "Blues of The Month Club", and many others.