An organist, he recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and at FAME Studios on such hit R&B songs as "When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge, "Mustang Sally" by Wilson Pickett and "I Never Loved a Man" by Aretha Franklin.
As a songwriter, Spooner 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), "A Woman Left Lonely" and "It Tears Me Up" (Percy Sledge).
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.
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, Dickey Betts, J.J. Cale and Frank Black.
Frequently a backing musician for Neil Young, he played on Young's critically acclaimed 1992 album Harvest Moon which also was the follow-up to Young's 1972 album Harvest released 20 years previous. Oldham also appears in the concert film, Neil Young: Heart of Gold and backed up Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young on their 2006 "Freedom of Speech" tour.
As of 2007, Oldham was touring with the rock/alt country band, 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.
On April 4, 2009, Oldham was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a sideman.
In May 2011, Oldham backed Pegi Young on a six-show tour of California. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.