The strange story of the outtake that is this classic #1 song.

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Rick Hall produced so many of the hits that came out of Muscle Shoals Alabama. He also produced this one but with a twist.

Percy Sledge was the singer for the Esquires, a local band in Sheffield Alabama. He wrote some lyrics to describe how he was actually feeling about a breakup.

A few friends joined him and finished it and Percy just let them have it because their contribution was good and enough changes were made that he considered it OK to let it go. They are listed as the writers.

Rick Hall, the guy who produced early Aretha Franklin and many others also did a version of this with Percy singing.

Once this song was done another studio owner, Quin Ivy stepped in and did a ‘better’ version with Percy. A New York producer thought the horns were slightly out of tune on the original from Rick Hall.

Mix up or fate?

The original got pressed as the record anyway.

The rest is history. Big Classic Soul history.


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