Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Angel of the Morning

First recorded by Evie Sands (1967).
Also recorded by Danny Michaels (1967), Billie Davis (UK 1967), Joya Landis (1968).
Hit versions by Merilee Rush (US #7/UK #55/CAN #1/AUS #1 1968), P.P. Arnold (UK #29 1968), Mary Mason (UK #27 1977), Guys ‘n Dolls (NETH #11 1977), Juice Newton (US #4/C&W #22/CAN #1 1981).

From the wiki: “‘Angel of the Morning’ was written by Chip Taylor (‘Wild Thing‘, ‘I Can’t Let Go‘), and was first offered to singer-actress Connie Francis (‘Who’s Sorry Now’ [1957], ‘Where the Boys Are’ [1961]). Francis turned it down because she thought that it was too risqué(!) for her career.

“Taylor then produced a recording with Evie Sands (‘I Can’t Let Go‘) but the financial straits of Cameo-Parkway Records, who had Sands on their roster, reportedly prevented either that version’s release or its distribution. Other early recordings of the song were made in 1967 by Southern California country music fixture Danny Michaels (produced by Lee Hazlewood for his LHI label) and, in the UK, by vocalist Billie Davis.

“‘Angel of the Morning’ finally became a hit in the spring and summer of 1968 with the recording by Merrilee Rush produced that January at American Sound Studios in Memphis with Chips Moman and Tommy Cogbill producing. It charted into the Top 10 in the US, also becoming an international hit. Her recording would earn Rush a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance (Female) in 1969.

“In the UK, ‘Angel of the Morning’ reached #29 in August 1968 via a rendition by P.P. Arnold (‘The First Cut is the Deepest‘) who had sung background on the 1967 Billie Davis version; Arnold’s version was produced by Andrew Loog Oldham (The Rolling Stones). Also in 1968, American singer Joya Landis recorded a late Rocksteady/early Reggae version of the song in Jamaica for producer Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid and his Treasure Isle label. In 1977 Mary Mason peaked in the UK Top 30 hit with her version. British act Guys ‘n’ Dolls also had a hit with ‘Angel of the Morning’ in 1977, in the Netherlands, with their recording reaching #11 on the Dutch chart.

“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. Not only did Newton’s recording go Top 10 in the US (and #1 in Canada), she was nominated for the Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance (Female) Grammy Award in 1982.”

Danny Michaels, “Angel of the Morning” (1967):

Billie Davis, “Angel of the Morning” (UK 1967):

Merilee Rush & The Turnabouts, “Angel of the Morning” (1968):

P.P. Arnold, “Angel of the Morning” (1968):

Joya Landis, “Angel of the Morning” (1968):

Mary Mason, “Angel of the Morning/Any Way That You Want Me” (1977):

Guys ‘n Dolls, “Angel of the Morning” (1977):

Juice Newton, “Angel of the Morning” (1981):