Light Of A Clear Blue Morning

Album: New Harvest...First Gathering (1977)
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Songfacts®:

  • New Harvest…First Gathering, Dolly Parton's 18th solo album, was a new beginning for the country singer. She'd officially extricated herself from her longtime professional partnership with Porter Wagoner, who helped launch her career when he brought her on his eponymous TV show in 1967, and set off for musical independence. It was her first self-produced album, although she credited her new musical director, Gregg Perry, as co-producer.
  • Dolly's struggle for independence inspired this tune. "'Light Of A Clear Blue Morning' was my song of deliverance," she explained in her 2020 book, Songteller. "I felt like I was trapped in a situation and needed to be free, because God was calling me, life was calling me, to something bigger. But I felt like my feet were nailed to the floor."
  • Although she considered Wagoner and his band as part of her family, Dolly's relationship with her mentor was a contentious one and they often butted heads over her career choices. Even after she quit recording with him in 1974 to focus on her solo career, she still appeared on his show and allowed him to produce her records. By 1976, she was ready to completely cut ties and met with RCA executives to negotiate without Wagoner.

    On the night she told Wagoner she wanted to split, she left his office and thought to herself what a long, dark night it had been. On the drive home, the clouds parted and the sun lit up the sky. "I thought, 'Well, if that ain't a sign, I don't know what is,'" she recalled. "I started saying the song's words. By the time I got home, I pretty much had the song done, in my head. I felt like God had spoken to me. I had a good talk with myself, and I was free, thinking: 'I've won my freedom like an eagle, and I'm eager for the sky. So let me go, and look out, world.'"
  • Wagoner didn't let Dolly go easily. In 1979, he filed a $3 million lawsuit against her for breach of contract. The suit was eventually settled out of court. Dolly told Robert K. Oermann, author of Behind The Grand Ole Opry Curtain: Tales of Romance and Tragedy: "It took me a while to pay it off, but he got the first million dollars I ever made."
  • This was the album's first single. It peaked at #11 on the Country chart.
  • New Harvest…First Gathering was Dolly's first #1 album on the Country Albums chart.
  • The album was named Favorite Country Album at the 1978 American Music Awards.
  • This was used in the 1992 romantic comedy Straight Talk, starring Dolly as a small-town girl turned big-city radio host.
  • This was covered by Allison Moorer, Glen Campbell, and Irish singer-songwriter Mags.

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