Out of Left Field

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After Percy Sledge helped put Muscle Shoals, Alabama, on the map with "When a Man Loves a Woman," local songwriters Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham got in on the action, writing songs for Sledge in hopes of getting them cut and released as singles. One of their tunes, "Out of Left Field," was only a mid-chart hit, but it's now considered a soul classic. "People say it's a baseball metaphor, but I think of it as a farm metaphor, like an old tractor bringin' some hay in," said Penn. "I love it 'cause it's a heck of a way to say, 'She walked in out of nowhere.'"

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