Thursday Inspiration #135 Angel of The Morning

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word cheek, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘Angel of The Morning’, or by going with another song by Merrilee Rush, or anything else that you think fits.  ‘Angel of The Morning’ is a song about a young woman becoming an adult and exercising her right to love and live with whomever she chooses.  The lyrics were quite risqué for the time.  Chip Taylor wrote ‘Angel of the Morning’ after hearing the Rolling Stones’ song ‘Ruby Tuesday’ on the car radio while he was driving into New York City and he wanted to capture that kind of passion in a song.  The song became a hit in 1968 when it was recorded by Merrilee Rush climbing to #7 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and earned Rush a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance, Female.

Merrilee Gunst grew up in Seattle and studied classical piano from a young age.  In 1960, Merrilee auditioned to became a background singer for the Amazing Aztecs, a Seattle-area rock & roll band led by saxophone player Neil Rush, whom she would later marry.  She was hired to join the Amazing Aztecs, but shortly after all of the other musicians quit.  Neil Rush and Merrilee went on to form Merrilee and Her Men, and then later they joined the rhythm and blues group Tiny Tony and the Statics.  In 1965 the pair formed Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts, who soon became a popular act on the Pacific Northwest’s teen dancehall circuit.  A member of the group’s road crew also worked for Paul Revere and the Raiders, and through this connection, Rush was invited to be the opening act on the Raiders’ tour of the southern United States in 1967.

At the end of that tour while in Memphis they were introduced to record producer Chips Moman and he liked Merrilee’s voice.  She did an audition tape for Moman and a month later a demo of ‘Angel of the Morning’ was played for her.  Song writer Chip Taylor wrote this, and he also had a big hit with ‘Wild Thing’ for The Troggs in 1966.  Chip Taylor did this demo with just a voice and guitar and he didn’t sound that good, but Merrilee thought that the song and the lyrics were both phenomenal.  The song, both the single and the album was credited to Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts, but it was recorded using the same musicians who played on Elvis Presley’s famous Memphis recordings going by the name of the American Sound house band.  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 and this version reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

I see no reason to take me home
I’m old enough to face the dawn.
Just call me angel of the morning, Angel
Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby.

12 thoughts on “Thursday Inspiration #135 Angel of The Morning

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