It's almost always interesting to hear a songwriter perform songs that were made famous by others. Hoagy Carmichael's and Johnny Mercer's versions of their own standards come to mind. But to hear Dan Penn do his rendition of his song "Do Right Woman Do Right Man" on his 1994 collection Do Right Man is to hear a high-caliber soul singer in his own right, revealing his own emotional nuances in his own song. Penn was a teenager with aspirations to be an R&B singer -- patterned on his heroes like Bobby "Blue" Bland and Sam Cooke -- when he arrived in Muscle Shoals, AL, in the late '50s. Working at legendary Fame studios there and later in studios throughout Memphis, he eventually became one of the era's most influential songwriters and producers. Along with another young white producer/writer, Chips Moman, he wrote some classic soul numbers, including "Do Right Woman Do Right Man." The theme of "Do Right Woman Do Right Man" is the power of temptation vis-à-vis the rewards of fidelity. Its message and soothing melody seem to bring out the soul in singers, even those as white-bread as Joan Baez, who recorded an Aretha Franklin-inspired version of it in 1988. Franklin made the song famous on her 1967 record I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You). Penn's own version of "Do Right Woman Do Right Man" notwithstanding, no other recording of this classic -- from Etta James' to Willie Nelson's -- holds a candle to Franklin's. Though she could probably sing the phone book and make it groove, Franklin is the kind of vocalist who seems like she would not sing a song if she does not feel it 100 percent. She starts "Do Right Woman Do Right Man" with a gospel feel, as if she was actually in church preaching (her father was in fact a famous preacher), then builds it through the song's bridge, by which time it feels like an anthem for the times, on par with her hit "Respect" -- another song she "stole," or so its original singer and author Otis Redding once flatteringly claimed. The Flying Burrito Brothers had the right idea to steer clear of the Franklin territory and gave their own unique twist on "Do Right Woman Do Right Man" in 1969, a breezy country-soul waltz reading that demonstrated the multiple levels within the song and led to other recordings of it by country artists like Kitty Wells and Barbara Mandrell.