Angel of the Morning

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"Angel of the Morning"
A-side label of U.S. single
Single by Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts
from the album Angel of the Morning
B-side"Reap What You Sow"
ReleasedFebruary 7, 1968
RecordedJanuary 1968
StudioAmerican Sound Studios, Memphis
GenrePop, country
Songwriter(s)Chip Taylor
Producer(s)Tommy Cogbill and Chips Moman
Merrilee Rush singles chronology
"How's the Weather on Your Street"
"Angel of the Morning"
"That Kind of Woman"
"Angel of the Morning" on YouTube

"Angel of the Morning" is a popular song written by Chip Taylor and recorded by many artists, most notably by Merrilee Rush, P. P. Arnold, Connie Eaton, Mary Mason, Guys 'n' Dolls, Melba Montgomery and Juice Newton.

Origins, the original recording, and subsequent versions[edit]

The song was composed in 1967 by Chip Taylor, who said of it: "I wrote Angel of the Morning after hearing The Rolling Stones song Ruby Tuesday on the car radio when I was driving into New York City. I wanted to capture that kind of passion."[1]

"Angel of the Morning" was originally offered to Connie Francis, but she turned it down because she thought that the love affair lyrical message was too risqué for her image.[2]

Taylor produced the first recording of the song with Evie Sands, but the financial straits of Cameo-Parkway Records, which had Sands on their roster, led to a highly limited single release and no promotion.

The second recording was by UK vocalist Billie Davis made in 1967 by Danny Michaels for Lee Hazlewood's LHI label. P.P. Arnold provided backup vocals for this version and later released a version alone.

The song became a hit in 1968 through 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 Raiders recorded the album Going to Memphis at American Sound Studios, an association which led to Rush's discovery by Tommy Cogbill, who had been hoping to find the right voice for "Angel of the Morning"—he had kept a tape of the demo of that song constantly in his pocket for several months.

Rush recorded the song and the tracks which would fill out her Angel of the Morning album with the American Sound house band, even though the single and the album would be credited to the group "Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts."[3]

The single version was released in February 1968, and reached the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 that June, peaking at No. 7, also reaching No. 1 in Canada,[4] Australia, and New Zealand, and No. 4 in the Netherlands. The song earned Rush a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance, Female. Rush recorded 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 and 1968, in which author-composer Chip Taylor's niece Angelina Jolie had a starring role.)

In 1968, a rendition by P. P. Arnold,[5] who had sung background on the 1967 Billie Davis version, reached No. 29 in the UK in August 1968.

In 1968, a rendition by Joya Landis was released by Treasure Isle in Jamaica and on Trojan Records in the UK (TR-622).

In 1970 a rendition by Connie Eaton reached No. 34 on the Billboard C&W charts.

In 1977, Mary Mason also had a UK Top 30 hit with her version, which was actually a medley of two Chip Taylor songs, "Angel of the Morning" and "Any Way That You Want Me," reaching No. 27.[6]

Also in 1977, the British act Guys 'n' Dolls had a hit in the Netherlands with the song, and their version reached No. 11 on the Dutch charts.

In 1978, a release by Melba Montgomery reached No. 22 on the Billboard C&W chart.

Versions by Chip Taylor[edit]

  • In 1972, Taylor released a version on Buddah 325. It reached No. 101 in the Record World survey.
  • In 1996, Taylor released a version on the album Hit Man.[7]
  • In 1999, a version by Taylor appeared on the KGSR fundraiser CD Broadcasts Vol. 7.[8]
  • In 2004, Taylor released a version of the song with his singer-songwriter partner Carrie Rodriguez on the album of the same name.[9]

Juice Newton version[edit]

"Angel of the Morning"
Angel of the Morning Juice Newton.jpg
Single by Juice Newton
from the album Juice
B-side"Headin' for a Heartache"
ReleasedFebruary 1981
RecordedSeptember 4, 1980
GenreCountry, Soft rock[10]
3:57 (7")
LabelCapitol 4976
Songwriter(s)Chip Taylor
Producer(s)Richard Landis
Juice Newton singles chronology
"You Fill My Life"
"Angel of the Morning"
"Queen of Hearts"
"Angel of the Morning" on YouTube

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. Newton re-interpreted the song at the suggestion of Steve Meyer, who promoted Capitol Records singles and albums to radio stations and felt a version of "Angel of the Morning" by Newton would be a strong candidate for airplay.[11] Newton would state that she would never have herself thought of recording "Angel of the Morning," and even though she immediately recognized the song when Meyer played it for her (quote): "I [hadn't been] really aware of that song because...when [it] was popular I was listening to folk music and R&B and not pop, and that was a very pop song."[12]

Newton's version reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 22 on the Billboard country music chart, and spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart in April of that year.[13][14] 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 were sold in the United States, and it reached the Top 10 in a number of other countries, including Canada and Australia. Notably, Newton's video for "Angel of the Morning" was the first country music video aired on MTV, debuting the day the network launched, in 1981. In the UK, this recording reached No. 43 on the UK Singles Chart, marking the song's third appearance on that chart without becoming a truly major hit.[15] Newton recorded the song again in 1998 for her The Trouble with Angels album.

The song "Angel", released by reggae artist Shaggy, heavily samples the melody of "Angel of the Morning". It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending March 31, 2001.

Swedish singer Jill Johnson released "Angel of the Morning", with lyrics in English, in 2007 from her album of cover versions, Music Row. This version peaked at No. 30 at the Swedish singles chart.

Film, television and literature[edit]

Juice Newton's version is heard during Drew Barrymore's first scene in the film Charlie's Angels, in the film Charlie Wilson's War (in which it is also sung by Emily Blunt), the opening titles of Deadpool, in the film It Chapter Two and the ending of The Meddler. It is also featured in Season 1 of HBO's True Detective.

The Toyota Highlander "Kid Cave" commercial, aired from late 2010, features a young boy who is embarrassed by his parents's singing of the song while he is riding with them in a car.[17] The song also features a parody version in Family Guy with Peter Griffin portraying himself as Deadpool.

Chart history[edit]

Juice Newton version[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Edmonton Journal August 8, 1997 "Chip Taylor: a hitman brings heart to Folk Fest" by Peter North p.C3
  2. ^ "'Deadpool' Director Tim Miller and Songwriter Chip Taylor on the Film's Soft-Rock Centerpiece, 'Angel in the Morning'". Billboard. Retrieved August 25, 2019.
  3. ^ Jones, Roben (2010). Memphis Boys: the story of American Studios (1st ed.). Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. pp. 126–130. ISBN 978-1-60473-401-0.
  4. ^ "Item Display – RPM v Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Arnold UK Singles Chart info Retrieved September 12, 2009
  6. ^ Mason UK Singles Chart info Retrieved September 12, 2009.
  7. ^ Hit Man – Chip Taylor.
  8. ^ KGSR BROADCASTS CDS – Volume 7 Archived December 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Angel of the Morning – Chip Taylor, Carrie Rodriguez
  10. ^ "VH1's 40 Most Softsational Soft-Rock Songs". Stereogum. SpinMedia. May 31, 2007. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  11. ^ Lewiston Daily Sun April 15, 1981, p. 4
  12. ^ Kentucky New Era p. 2
  13. ^ Hyatt, Wesley (1999). The Billboard Book of No. 1 Adult Contemporary Hits (Billboard Publications), page 250.
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 454.
  15. ^ Newton UK Singles Chart info Retrieved September 12, 2009.
  16. ^ Best of Adam Sharp Playlist Archived August 1, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, Penguin
  17. ^ Beth Harpaz. What Embarrasses a Teen? A Parent's Mere Existence, Associated Press, 20 December 2010
  18. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (July 17, 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly".
  19. ^ " – Merrilee Rush – Angel of the Morning" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  20. ^ "Merrilee Rush Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  21. ^ "Merrilee Rush Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  22. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, July 13, 1968".
  23. ^
  24. ^ a b "Top 100 Hits of 1981/Top 100 Songs of 1981".
  25. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles – 1968". Archived from the original on October 9, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  26. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). Sydney: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  27. ^ " – Juice Newton – Angel of the Morning" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  28. ^ Canada, Library and Archives (July 17, 2013). "Image : RPM Weekly".
  29. ^ " – Juice Newton – Angel of the Morning". Tracklisten.
  30. ^ {[permanent dead link] January 2018}
  31. ^ " – Juice Newton – Angel of the Morning". Swiss Singles Chart.
  32. ^ " – Juice Newton – Angel of the Morning". Top 40 Singles.
  33. ^ "Juice Newton: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  34. ^ "Juice Newton Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Juice Newton Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "Juice Newton Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard.
  37. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 5/16/81". Archived from the original on May 10, 2017. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
  38. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 End of Year AMR Charts – 1980s". Hung Medien. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
  39. ^
  40. ^ "The Official New Zealand Music Chart". THE OFFICIAL NZ MUSIC CHART.
  41. ^ "Cash Box YE Pop Singles – 1981". Archived from the original on October 22, 2016. Retrieved July 5, 2017.

External links[edit]