Angel of the Morning

Angel of the Morning
"Angel of the Morning"
Single by Juice Newton
from the album Juice
B-side "Headin' for a Heartache"
Released 1981
Format 7" (45 rpm)
Genre Country pop
Length 3:49
3:57 (7")
Label Capitol 4976
Writer(s) Chip Taylor
Producer Richard Landis
Juice Newton singles chronology
"You Fill My Life"
"Angel of the Morning"
"Queen of Hearts"

"Angel of the Morning" is a popular song that has been recorded numerous times, and has been a charting hit single for several artists including Juice Newton, Merrilee Rush, Nina Simone, P.P. Arnold, Olivia Newton-John, The Pretenders/Chrissie Hynde, Dusty Springfield, Mary Mason, Melba Montgomery, and Billie Davis.


Original and charting versions

Written and composed by New York-born songwriter Chip Taylor, "Angel of the Morning" was originally offered to Connie Francis to sing, but she turned it down because she thought that it was too risqué for her career.[citation needed] Taylor produced a recording of the song with his protégée Evie Sands but the financial straits of Cameo-Parkway Records, who had Sands on their roster, reportedly either prevented that version's release or its distribution. Other early recordings of "Angel of the Morning" were made in 1967 by Danny Michaels for Lee Hazelwood's LHI label and by UK vocalist Billie Davis.

"Angel of the Morning" finally became a hit in the spring and summer of 1968 via a recording by Merrilee Rush made that January at American Sound Studios in Memphis with Chips Moman and Tommy Cogbill producing. Rush had come to Memphis through the group she fronted: the Turnabouts, being the opening act for a Paul Revere and the Raiders tour; while in Memphis the last-named group proceeded to record the album Going to Memphis at American Sound Studios, an association which led to Rush's discovery by Tommy Cogbill who'd been hoping to find the right voice for the song "Angel of the Morning" - he'd kept a tape of the demo of that song constantly in his pocket for several months. Rush recorded "Angel of the Morning" and the tracks which would comprise her Angel of the Morning album with the American Sound houseband although the single and the album would be credited to the group Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts.[1] The "Angel of the Morning" single was released in February 1968 to reach the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100 that June peaking at #7. A #1 hit in Canada,[2] Australia and New Zealand, "Angel of the Morning" also afforded Rush a hit in the Netherlands (#4). "Angel of the Morning" earned Rush a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance, Female. Rush would cut a new version of the song for her 1977 eponymous album release. Rush's version of "Angel of the Morning" would be featured on the soundtrack of the 1999 film Girl, Interrupted - whose time frame is 1967-68 - in which composer Chip Taylor's niece Angelina Jolie had a starring role.

In the United Kingdom, where the Merrilee Rush version had failed to reach the Top 50 stalling at #55, "Angel of the Morning" reached #29 in August 1968 via a rendition by P.P. Arnold[3] who had sung background on the 1967 Billie Davis version; Arnold's version was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham. In 1977 Mary Mason also had a UK Top 30 hit with her version (in fact a medley of two Chip Taylor songs: "Angel of the Morning - Any Way That You Want Me"), which made #27.[4] British act Guys 'n' Dolls had a hit in the Netherlands in 1977 with "Angel of the Morning", their version reaching #11 on the Dutch chart.

The most successful C&W version of the song - tying with the Juice Newton version discussed in the paragraph below - is the 1978 release by Melba Montgomery which reached #22 on the Billboard C&W chart. Previously "Angel of the Morning" had appeared on the Billboard C&W chart via a rendition by Connie Eaton (#34/ 1970).

The highest-charting and best-selling version in the United States was recorded and released in 1981 by country-rock singer Juice Newton for her album Juice, released on Capitol Records. Newton remade the song at the suggestion of Steve Meyer, Capitol's national promotion director.[5] Newton's version reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, #22 on the Billboard country music chart, and spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart in April of that year.[6][7] The recording also earned Newton a Grammy nomination in the same category as Rush's 1968 hit. More than 1 million units of Newton's single of the song were sold in the United States, and the single reached the top ten in a number of other countries, including Canada and Australia. In the UK, this recording reached #35 on the UK Singles Chart, marking the song's third appearance on that chart without becoming a truly major hit.[8] Newton recorded the song again in 1998 for her The Trouble with Angels album.

Reggae artist Shaggy released a single titled "Angel" that featured Rayvon in 2001. The song was a reworked version of "Angel of the Morning" and featured new lyrics, turning it into an apology and homage to his lady love, instead of the original's tone of a one-night stand. This song spent one week at #1.

Swedish singer Jill Johnson released "Angel of the Morning", with lyrics in English, in 2007 from her cover album Music Row. This version peaked at #30 at the Swedish singles chart.

Versions by Chip Taylor

  • In 1996, Taylor released a version on the album Hit Man.[9]
  • In 1999, a version by Taylor appeared on the KGSR fundraiser CD Broadcasts Vol. 7.[10]

Non-charting cover versions

  • In 1968 the American singer Joya Landis recorded a late rocksteady/early reggae version of this song in Jamaica for producer Arthur "Duke" Reid and his Treasure Isle label. The UK release (Trojan TR-622) had "Love Letters" by Phyllis Dillon and Alton Ellis as the B-side. It also appeared on the compilation album Soul Of Jamaica a.k.a. Come Rock With Me In Jamaica, and on the Trojan compilation album, Tighten Up, Volume 1 (both 1968).
  • Soul singer Bettye Swann had a single release of "Angel of the Morning" in 1969.
  • The New Seekers included "Angel of the Morning" on their self-titled debut album (1969).
  • Soul singer Thelma Jones recorded the song for her eponymous 1978 album.
  • The short-lived British girl band Thunderbugs recorded an upbeat version of the song for their 1999 debut album, Delicious.
  • The Atlanta-based band Girlyman released a cover on its 2007 live album, Somewhere Different Now.

Translated versions

There have been a number of non-English renderings of "Angel of the Morning":

  • in Finnish as "Kaipuu" a 1968 single by Pertti Willberg and also as "Jos Itket Silloin" recorded by Pirjo Lehti for her 1985 Se On Rakkautta Oikeaa album.
  • in Italian as "Gli occhi verdi dell'amore" which was a 1969 hit in Italy at #9 for I Profeti.
  • in German as "Der Engel der Verdammten" by Juliane Werding on her 1975 album Wenn du denkst, dass du denkst, dan denskt du nur, du denskt and also as " "Ich bin dein Engel bis zum Morgen" a 1981 single by Suzanne Klee.
  • in Swedish as "En enda morgon" recorded by Elisabeth Andreassen for her 1981 album Angel of the Morning and also as "Nattens sista ängel" recorded by Wizex for their 1982 album Nattfjäril. These respective lyricists for these versions were Mats Rådberg and Roine Carlsson.

Film and television

The Merrilee Rush version of the song is featured in the soundtrack of the movie, Girl, Interrupted. The Rush version is also played during a scene in the 1978 film Fingers, where it is used to accentuate the conflicted nature of the main character played by Harvey Keitel. The song was performed live by Chrissie Hynde in a 1995 episode of Friends titled "The One with the Baby on the Bus", and that version also appears in that show's soundtrack album. The song also makes an appearance in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire, with Tom Cruise's titular character singing what appears to be the original version, enthusiastically if badly. More recently, Conan O'Brien has referenced the track, during periodic ironic pledges to cease his show's use of arbitrary & stupid humor in which he presents a gorilla dressed as a nurse who uses an old-fashioned abdominal exerciser while enjoying the song. In "Branch Closing", an episode of The Office, Michael Scott sings "Levinson in the morning" to his supervisor, Jan Levinson.

Juice Newton's version can be heard during Drew Barrymore's first scene in the film Charlie's Angels.

Juice Newton's version can be heard in the film Charlie Wilson's War. Near the start of the film, it is also sung by Emily Blunt.

The Toyota Highlander "Kid Cave" commercial, aired from late 2010, features a young boy who is embarrassed by his parents' singing of the song while he is riding with them in a car.[12]

Versions (English language) (chronology)

See also


  1. ^ Jones, Roben (2010). Memphis Boys: the story of American Studios (1st ed.). Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 126–130. ISBN 1604734019. 
  2. ^ Library and Archives Canada.
  3. ^ Arnold UK Singles Chart info Retrieved 12 September 2009
  4. ^ Mason UK Singles Chart info Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  5. ^ Rock Hill Herald 21 April 1981 p. 59
  6. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of #1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 250.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 454.
  8. ^ Newton UK Singles Chart info Retrieved 12 September 2009.
  9. ^ Hit Man - Chip Taylor.
  10. ^ KGSR BROADCASTS CDS - Volume 7.
  11. ^ Angel of the Morning - Chip Taylor, Carrie Rodriguez
  12. ^ Beth Harpaz. What Embarrasses a Teen? A Parent's Mere Existence, Associated Press, 2010-12-20
Preceded by
"This Guy's in Love with You" by Herb Alpert
Canadian RPM 100 number-one single
(Marilee Rush version)

July 6, 1968 (one week)
Succeeded by
"Lady Willpower" by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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