Dawn Penn – You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)

23rd September 1967 · 1960s, 1967, Music, Reggae

Another rocksteady classic from Studio One. Dawn Penn was only 15 when she recorded this in 1967 – and in her 40s when it became a UK hit (as No, No, No) in 1994.

The song started life with Bo Diddley who wrote and recorded it as She’s Fine, She’s Mine way way back in 1955 and was covered in a swingin’ RnB style five years later by Willie Cobbs, who retitled it You Don’t Love Me and cheekily assigned himself the songwriting credit that belonged to Ellas McDaniel (aka Diddley).

The Cobbs version’s signature riff, created by Memphis producer Billy Lee Riley, would resurface in 1961 on Riley’s instrumental version, titled Shimmy Shimmy Walk Pt.1, by The Megatons, produced by Chips Moman at American Sound in Memphis.

Sonny and Cher then gave it a Swinging Sixties treatment in 1965, followed by John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers taking it back to its roots n 1967, then Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper and Stephen Stills in 1968, while The Allman Brothers turned it into a 20-minute jam on their seminal Live At Fillmore East album in 1971.

Further versions were recorded by bands in countries as far afield as Spain, Peru, Bolivia and Guatemala before Dawn Penn re-recorded her 1994 version.

I always wondered about the 30-year gap between Dawn Penn’s two versions and I learn that she left the music biz in 1970 and moved to the Virgin Islands but encountered racism there and eventually moved back to Jamaica – and the music biz.

The re-recorded version that became a hit in the Nineties as No, No, No followed Dawn’s appearance at a big Studio One anniversary show in Jamaica. It’s since been covered by countless more artists, including Wu Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah.