A Bit Like You And Me Radio

January 28, 2013

Merrilee Rush and The Turnabouts - Angel of the Morning (1968)

Born in 1944 and raised in Seattle, Washington, this American vocalist met her first husband, Neil Rush, when auditioning to be the singer of a local band, the Amazing Aztecs, in 1960. Neil was the band’s leader and saxophonist and the couple would soon branch off to create Merrilee Rush and The Turnabouts in 1965, touring the Pacific Northwest as a teen/pop act in dancehalls. In 1967, a member of the road crew for their band connected them with Paul Revere and the Raiders, another band he frequently worked for. This led to Merrilee and her band getting invited to be the opening act for Paul Revere and The Raiders during their 1967 tour of the southern United States. While touring through Tennessee, the Raiders had stopped in Memphis to record their upcoming album, Going to Memphis, and Rush was introduced to music producers Chips Moman and Tommy Cogbill. Cogbill had been looking for months for an artist to record a song by Chip Taylor he had been keeping in his pocket and was thrilled to hear Merrilee Rush’s voice.

Written by Chip Taylor (writer of The Troggs’ “Wild Thing” and uncle to actress Angelia Jolie), this song was originally intended to be recorded by Connie Francis, who turned it down because of its risqué lyrics, referring to a torrid love affair gone wrong. Although it was recorded by Evie Sands, Danny Michaels, and Billie Davis in 1967, it wasn’t until music producer Tommy Cogbill discovered Merrilee Rush and had her record it that the song really took off. Although the song was credited to Merrilee Rush and The Turnabouts, Rush was actually backed by a house band, American Sound, who had been known for backing up Elvis Presley during his famous Memphis recordings. Released in February 1968, this song reached number seven in the US; number four in the Netherlands; and number one in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It has since been recorded numerous times by artists such as Juice Newton, P.P. Arnold, Olivia Newton-John, and many others. It was also successfully sampled by Shaggy, featuring Rayvon, for the 2001 hit-song “Angel.”

album art

Merrilee Rush and The Turnabouts - Angel of the Morning (1968)

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Lyrics:

There’ll be no strings to bind your hands
Not if my love can’t bind your heart
And there’s no need to take a stand
For it was I who chose to start

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
Just call me “Angel of the Morning-” “Angel”
Then slowly turn away from me

Maybe the sun’s light will be dim
And it won’t matter anyhow
If morning’s echo says we’ve sinned
Well, it was what I wanted now

And if we’re victims of the night
I won’t be blinded by light

Just call me “Angel of the Morning-” “Angel”
Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby
Just call me “Angel of the Morning-” “Angel”
Then slowly turn away
I won’t beg you to stay with me
Through the tears
Of the day
Of the years
Baby, baby

Just call me “Angel of the Morning-” “Angel”
Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby
Just call me “Angel of the Morning-” “Angel”
Just touch my cheek before you leave me, baby…

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