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Origins, the original recording, and subsequent versions
The song was composed in 1966 by Chip Taylor:(Chip Taylor quote)"I wrote 'Angel of the Morning' after hearing the Rolling Stones' song 'Ruby Tuesday' on the car radio [while] driving into New York City. I wanted to capture that [song's] kind of passion."
"Angel of the Morning" was originally offered to Connie Francis, but she turned it down because she thought that it was too risqué for her image, as the song's narrator describes her feelings about a one-night stand: "If morning's echo says we've sinned, well, it was what I wanted now."
Taylor produced a recording of the song with Evie Sands, but the financial straits of Cameo-Parkway Records, which 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 Danny Michaels for Lee Hazlewood's LHI label and by UK vocalist Billie Davis.
The song finally became a hit in 1968 through a recording by Merrilee Rush, made that January at American Sound Studios in Memphis, with Chips Moman and Tommy Cogbill producing. Rush had come to Memphis through the group she fronted, the Turnabouts, being the opening act for a Paul Revere and the Raiders tour. While in Memphis, the Raiders recorded the album Going to Memphis at American Sound Studios, an association which led to Rush's discovery by Tommy Cogbill, who had been hoping to find the right voice for "Angel of the Morning"--he had kept a tape of the demo of that song constantly in his pocket for several months.
Rush recorded the song and the tracks which would compose her Angel of the Morning album with the American Sound house band, even though the single and the album would be credited to the group "Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts."
Rush recorded a new version of the song for her 1977 eponymous album release. (Rush's version of "Angel of the Morning" would be featured on the soundtrack of the 1999 film Girl, Interrupted, whose time frame is 1967 and 1968, in which author-composer Chip Taylor's niece Angelina Jolie had a starring role.)
In the United Kingdom, where Rush's version stalled at No. 55, a rendition by P. P. Arnold, who had sung background on the 1967 Billie Davis version, reached No. 29 in August 1968.
In 1970 a rendition by Connie Eaton reached No. 34 on the Billboard C&W charts.
In 1977, Mary Mason also had a UK Top 30 hit with her version, which was actually a medley of two Chip Taylor songs, "Angel of the Morning" and "Any Way That You Want Me," reaching No. 27.
Also in 1977, the British act Guys 'n' Dolls had a hit in the Netherlands with the song, and their version reached No. 11 on the Dutch charts.
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. Newton re-interpreted the song at the suggestion of Steve Meyer, who promoted Capitol Records singles and albums to radio stations and felt a version of "Angel of the Morning" by Newton would be a strong candidate for airplay. Newton would state that she would never have herself thought of recording "Angel of the Morning," and even though she immediately recognized the song when Meyer played it for her (quote): "I [hadn't been] really aware of that song because...when [it] was popular I was listening to folk music and R&B and not Pop, and that was a very Pop song." 
Newton's version reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 22 on the Billboardcountry music chart, and spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboardadult contemporary chart in April of that year. The recording also earned Newton a Grammy nomination, and in the same category as Rush's 1968 hit. More than 1 million units of Newton's single of the song were sold in the United States, and the single reached the Top 10 in a number of other countries, including Canada and Australia. Notably, Newton's video for "Angel of the Morning" was the first country music video aired on MTV, debuting the day the network launched, in 1981. In the UK, this recording reached No. 43 on the UK Singles Chart, marking the song's third appearance on that chart without becoming a truly major hit. (Newton recorded the song again in 1998 for her The Trouble with Angels album.)
The song "Angel," released by reggae artist Shaggy, heavily samples "Angel of the Morning," using the melody, but with different words, for the sung refrain. It reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending March 31, 2001.
Swedish singer Jill Johnson released "Angel of the Morning," with lyrics in English, in 2007 from her album of cover versions, Music Row. This version peaked at No. 30 at the Swedish singles chart.
Versions by Chip Taylor
In 1972, Taylor released a version on Buddah 325. It reached #101 in the Record World survey.
In 1996, Taylor released a version on the album Hit Man.
In 1999, a version by Taylor appeared on the KGSR fundraiser CD Broadcasts Vol. 7.
In French as "Au revoir et à demain" (literally: "goodbye and see you tomorrow") a 1967 single by Liliane Saint-Pierre.
In Finnish as "Kaipuu" a 1968 single by Pepe Willberg and also as "Jos Itket Silloin" recorded by Pirjo Lehti for her 1985 Se On Rakkautta Oikeaa album.
In Italian as "Gli occhi verdi dell'amore" (literally: "the green eyes of love") which was a 1968 hit in Italy at No. 9 for I Profeti.
In German as "Der Engel der Verbannten" by Juliane Werding on her 1975 album Wenn du denkst, dass du denkst, dann denkst du nur, du denkst and also as " "Ich bin dein Engel bis zum Morgen" a 1981 single by Suzanne Klee.
The song also makes an appearance in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire, with Tom Cruise's titular character singing what appears to be the original version, enthusiastically if badly.
More recently, Conan O'Brien has referenced the track, during periodic ironic pledges to cease his show's use of arbitrary and stupid humor in which he presents a gorilla dressed as a nurse who uses an old-fashioned abdominal exerciser while enjoying the song.
The Toyota Highlander "Kid Cave" commercial, aired from late 2010, features a young boy who is embarrassed by his parents's singing of the song while he is riding with them in a car.
The song features in an episode of ABC's sitcom Modern Family, "Regrets Only" (Series/Season 2, Ep 16), when Gloria, portrayed by Sofia Vergara, is singing along to it on a karaoke machine. A karaoke version of the song is also featured in the second-season finale of the HBO series The Leftovers.
The song also features a parody version in Family Guy with Peter Griffin portraying himself as Deadpool.