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Angel Of The Morning by Merrilee Rush

Album: Angel Of The MorningReleased: 1968Charted:
7
  • Evie Sands originally recorded this song in 1967. Her version was doing well, but two weeks after it was released, her record label, Cameo/Parkway, went bankrupt. Chip Taylor, who wrote the song, was devastated when he found out that the label could not promote it or even make more copies of the song. A few months later, Rush's version became a hit for another label.
  • According to Kent Kotal at Forgotten Hits, Chip Taylor came up with this song in about 20 minutes. Writes Kent: "After strumming any variety of chords for close to two hours and coming up with nothing, he says the complete lyrics 'There'll be no strings to bind your hands, not if my love can't bind your heart' flowed out of his mouth. His first thought was 'What is that? That's beautiful!' He then thought, 'Nobody actually TALKS like that!!! Where did those words come from?' Incredibly, in one sitting, spread out over no more than twenty minutes, he completed the entire song. He says that during the entire process, he never once thought, 'I'm gonna say this' or 'I'm gonna say that.' In fact, most of the time he was thinking 'I don't even know what this means!' In his own mind, he feels that he didn't so much as WRITE this song as that he DREAMED it... the way the lyrics flowed out, meshing perfectly with the series of chords he had been strumming - there just had to be some kind of divine intervention. 'I write melody and words at the same time and I hum nonsense things until something comes out. So I don't think about what I want to say... I just let the emotion carry me. In this song, the emotion just totally took over and carried me. It was magic.'"
  • This song is about premarital sex, and while the '60s were very permissive in some regards, it was still a taboo subject in the media.
  • Merilee Rush was born in Seattle, Washington, and got a break when fellow Pacific-Northwest musicians Paul Revere and the Raiders asked her to join their tour. They also hooked her up with producers Tommy Cogbill and Chip Moman, who produced this song, using lush orchestration and even a pedal steel guitar.
  • This tender ballad is surprisingly virtually the same song as the primitive rocker "Wild Thing." Chip Taylor, who wrote both songs explained to Mojo magazine September 2008: "I heard some guy playing 'Wild Thing' real slow on a guitar. It sounded nice. So I did the same, lifting one of my fingers off a chord to create a suspension. Then the words 'There'll be no strings to bind your hands, not if my love can't bind your heart' came out. It was as beautiful a love connection as I could ever feel." Taylor added that it was the producer who added the sweeping strings.
  • This was a crossover hit for Country singer Juice Newton in 1981. Her version hit #4 on the US Pop charts, and a few months later, she had a bigger hit with "Queen Of Hearts." The song was also covered by Chrissie Hynde in 1994 for the soundtrack album of the TV show Friends, and in 2001, Reggae artist Shaggy sampled it for his hit song, "Angel."
  • This was a hit for P.P. Arnold in the UK in July 1968, reaching #29. (thanks, Andy - Orkney, Scotland)
  • Juice Newton's version can be heard during Drew Barrymore's first scene in the 2000 film Charlie's Angels. (thanks, David - Victoria, BC)
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Comments: 23

On February 15, 1981, "Angel of the Morning" by Juice Newton entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #70; and on April 26th it peaked at #4 (for 4 weeks) and spent 22 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 6 of those 22 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
And on April 5th it reached #1 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
It would be her first of four straight Top 10 records; starting with this one, then "Queen of Hearts" (#2 for 2 weeks), "The Sweetest Thing (I've Ever Known)" (#7), and finally "Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me" (#7)...
Ms. Newton, born Judy Kay Newton, will celebrate her 62nd birthday in three days on February 18th (2014)...
She was born in Lakehurst, New Jersey (Oh! the humanity).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
Dave--Chip Taylor is Jon Voight's brother, which makes him Angelina Jolie's uncle. Interestingly, this song was part of the soundtrack for one of AJ's first feature films, Girl Interrupted.Bookbabe - New York, Ny
The original Evie Sands version was nearly impossible to find for many years--it's now available on the Cameo Parkway boxed set. And Evie has sung it at my request at a Borders Bookstore (remember them?) live-music presentation.Bob - San Gabriel, Ca
Merrilee Rush was born in Seattle, Wahsington, which puts her WAY head over heeels over a later generation's [1990s] rockers from Seattle, Washington IMO.Steve - Whittier, Ca
Garrett - It was Chip Douglas (former member of The Turtles) that was associated with The Monkees as a producer and studio bass playwr.

Chip Taylor's real name is James Wesley Voight. He does this song as a duet with a female singer and it takes on a completely different vibe.
Dave - North Bay, Ca
Merilee and The Turnabouts....original plan was for Neil Rush and The Turnabouts. Neil went with Merillee as he at the time had health issues that were life threatening. he said he should have not changed the idea. He is still alive and well in 2010. They are still freinds but no longer married.Mark - Seattle, Wa
Uh-huh Rick -- riiight -- but was that the term at the time the song was written? Or is it recursive? How do you know that they don't call it that because of the song, eh?Ekristheh - Halath, United States
Thanks for the confirmation, MusicMama.Lester - New York City, Ny
To Lester of NYC: I also owned the single, as well as the album, and both were indeed credited to Merillee Rush and the Turnabouts. I have always loved this song, both for its lyrics and instrumentation. And I much prefer the MRT version to Juice Newton's. The former echoes a young woman challenging a young man to see her as a human being and not merely as an object; the latter sounds like the whining of a victim to me.Musicmama - New York, Ny
I owned this as a single when it was released, and I could swear it was credited to Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts.Lester - New York City, Ny
An angel in the morning is British slang for a rim job. Doesn't anyone know that?Rick - Columbus, Ga
didn't olivia newton john do a cover of this too?Kika - Nyc, Ny
This was considered a bit risque' at the time it was released. in part because of its subject matter, and in part because the female lead was obviously being assertive in the matter. Women's lib, anyone?Clarke - Pittsburgh, Pa
According to Chip himself, he based this song on the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday". You can hear the similaritiesTony - Devon, England
Who the heck is Ed Sara?
Chip Taylor, who also produced the Monkees ("what number is this Chip? Seven-A!") wrote this song.
Garrett - Nashville, Tn
I'd always had fond memories of this song as a favorite "slow dance" at my junior high dances in 1968-70. When my wife and I sang it a couple of years ago with our own teenage kids in the room, they grimaced and asked why we were celebrating an apparent "one-night stand." Guess I never really thought about it before! Oh well. Sorry, kids!Don - Phoenix, Az
Juice Newton did an outstanding remake of the Merrilee Rush hit.Howard - St. Louis Park, Mn
Ed Sara wrote the main part in this. Not Chip TaylorCooper - Seattle, Wa
The Shaggy version is an argument for capitol punishment.Craig - Madison, Wi
Tom Cruise fails to sing this song in his SUV in Jerry Maguire, one of the few legitimately funny (and self-depricating) moments in his career.Craig - Madison, Wi
Nina Simone recorded the song on her album "Here Comes the Sun" (RCA) in 1971.Mauro Boscarol - Bolzano, Italy
Chip Taylor, incidentally the brother of actor Jon Voight, also wrote the party anthem "Wild Thing"Robin - Salisbury, Md
Supposedly, Chip Taylor was in a real tough writing slump when penning this song and it stayed on the shelf unfinished for months. Then one night, he woke up otta the blue and finished the song in 20 minutesRandy - Beaumont, Tx