Honky Tonk Angel (Cliff Richard song)
|"Honky Tonk Angel"|
|Single by Cliff Richard|
|A-side||"Honky Tonk Angel"|
|B-side||"(Wouldn't You Know It) Got Myself a Girl"|
The song, which was written by Troy Seals and Denny Rice, was originally recorded by country music artist Conway Twitty and released as a single in the United States in January 1974. One of Cliff Richard's producers, Bruce Welch, heard the song and considered that it would make a good 'comeback' single after disappointing chart performances in 1973 and 1974. A version was then arranged for Cliff Richard by John Farrar, with a string arrangement by Nick Ingman.
While recording the song, Cliff Richard incorrectly assumed that the song's lyrics were about a piano player, unaware that the phrase 'honky-tonk angel' was used in America as a synonym for 'prostitute'. Some of his fans and friends, aware of the true meaning of the song's title, expressed surprise that he had chosen to cover the song, given his Christian beliefs. When the singer himself learnt the meaning of the slang term, he decided to make a television announcement about the withdrawal of the record and refused to promote it, even though the single was expected to perform well. During his 50th Anniversary tour in 2008, however, he revealed that he could not remember why he banned the song so he decided to reprise it.
The single was originally released in September 1975 with the B-Side "(Wouldn't You Know It) Got Myself a Girl". Since its withdrawal, "Honky Tonk Angel" has appeared as a bonus track on the CD release of I'm Nearly Famous (2001) and on two official compilations: The Singles Collection (EMI, 2002) and Lost & Found (From the Archives) (EMI, 2009).
- For the Conway Twitty version, see There's a Honky Tonk Angel (Who'll Take Me Back In).
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