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Friday 25 February 2011

Set Them Free

Curly Putnam is one of the greatest country songwriters of all time, being solely or jointly responsible for "Green, Green Grass of Home", "D-I-V-O-R-C-E", "He Stopped Loving Her Today", "My Elusive Dreams" and many, many more.

Here are four versions of one of his finest moments. Three are by soul singers and the fourth is by Charlie Rich, who I consider a soul singer as well. They are all pretty good. If I had to choose one I would probably pick Arthur Alexander's version just ahead of Charlie, but fortunately we don't have to choose.

"Set Me Free" - Charlie Rich

"Set Me Free" - Arthur Alexander

"Set Me Free" - Esther Phillips

"Set Me Free" - Joe Tex

As a bonus, here is a different song with the same name by a new Australian singer-songwriter by the name of Israel Cannan. And very nice it is too. The song is taken from his debut album "Walk", which came out late last year and was composed and recorded while he travelled around Oz in a camper van. Very enterprising, the young folks today.

"Set Me Free" - Israel Cannan

I said it was a good job we don't have to choose one version of "Set Me Free". Even better that we don't have to choose one Curly Putnam song. Because if we did I would have to drop all the above for this - Ol' Possum's finest moment. It breaks me up every time.


  1. love this song! ps in my humble opinion, the esther phillips version is the best. like her version of 'home is where the hatred is', i never, ever get bored of it. matt, london

  2. Definitely agree with you about "Home is where the hatred is". You can tell she is singing from personal experience.