In America, if you heard a British singer-songwriter on the radio in the early '70s, it was most likely an ex-Beatle. If not, it was probably Cat Stevens.
In 1967, when he was 18, Stevens had a string of hits in the UK that got little notice in America, but he caught on in 1971 with the hit singles "Wild World
" and "Peace Train
." With demand for his back catalog, four of his albums charted in 1971, and that momentum carried into 1972 with "Morning Has Broken," which went to #6. He remained one of the most popular solo artists in the US until 1977, which he converted to Islam and took the name Yusuf Islam. He released one more album as Cat Stevens in 1978, but then stopped making secular music. In the late '90s, he started re-issuing and performing his Cat Stevens songs again - at least the ones that jibed with his faith (no "I'm Gonna Get Me A Gun
"). "Morning Has Broken," despite being based on a Christian hymn, is one he embraced.