"The Dark End of the Street
" is a 1967 soul song written by songwriters Dan Penn and Chips Moman and first recorded by James Carr. In the summer of 1966, while a DJ convention was being held in Memphis, Penn and Moman were cheating while playing cards with Florida DJ Don Schroeder, and decided to write the song while on a break. Penn said of the song "We were always wanting to come up with the best cheatin’ song" . Ever. The duo went to the hotel room of Quinton Claunch, another Muscle Shoals alumnus, and founder of Hi Records, to write. Claunch told them, "Boys, you can use my room on one condition, which is that you give me that song for James Carr. They said I had a deal, and they kept their word. " The song, lyrics and all, was written in about thirty minutes. Soul artist James Carr, as promised, first recorded the song in late 1966, and it became his trademark song. Influences : Van Morrison's song "Bright Side of the Road
" includes the lyrics "From the dark end of the street, to the bright side of the road," which many believe was influenced by Penn's song.