John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins were a songwriting team in the late 1960s. Sadly, I don’t know much about them. John Hurley released three albums in the early 1970s. The two are known primarily for two songs that have been widely covered: “Love of the Common People” and “Son of a Preacher Man.” The former song was a big hit for Paul Young in 1982, but it was first recorded by Hurley off his first album, Sings About People.
In early 1968, Hurley and Wilkins were shopping around “Son of a Preacher Man.” They tried to get Aretha Franklin to record it, but she wasn’t interested. Dusty Springfield did not make that mistake. It was released late in 1968, and then the following year on her album, Dusty in Memphis. The song became an international hit — reaching number 10 in the United States.