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January 14

Come Roll Out to “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’! Charley Pride’s 1972 Hit

Kiss An Angel Good Mornin was Charley Pride’s eight No. 1 song in  1972 and has since become his signature tune. Charley Pride, however,  had his career in full swing in 1971 as he was able to produce seven number one hits.

The Song

“Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” was written by Ben Peters. Peters had been writing dozens of songs for Pride. This included songs that made their way to the top of the Country Charts.

Together with Jack Clement, Pride’s producer, Peters introduced Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ to Pride and upon hearing it, Pride thought it won’t be a big hit. Nonetheless, he was excited to record the song.

Ben Peters got his inspiration from his newborn baby whom he named Angela. With the first lines, it presented some advice for marriage. Taken as a whole though, the song speaks of a father’s love. Ben Peters’ wife would always remind him to kiss the baby before leaving. Thus, the song’s theme was born.

” Kiss An Angel Good Mornin,’” upon its release, became Pride’s eight number one Country Hit. The song also peaked at number 7 on the Adult Contemporary Chart. Pride also branded “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” as a clear example of how one song can conquer the odds of becoming a crossover hit. At that time, Country songs have been adapting the elements of pop. Nevertheless, Pride clearly stated that “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” was not written and recorded to be a crossover song. In the course of time, even with all the backlash that Pride encountered, “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’”  went to be a million-seller hit.

Kiss An Angel Good Mornin' I Charley Pride

Pride and Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’

Charley Pride was a country artist that was made famous by his suave, Southern-accented baritone voice. Over 23 years, from 1966 to 1989, Pride was able to produce singles that made the top of the country charts and spent weeks as a number one hit. Pride’s earlier years were focused on playing baseball until he injured his throwing arm prior to a try-out with the California Angels.

It was Chet Atkins and the RCA records that gave Pride his first stint as an artist. This gave a big lift for the music career of Pride. It was from 1971 to 1972 that Pride’s career went on to its golden years particularly when “Kiss An Angel Good Morning”” was released. The song helped Pride to dominate different awards shows. During the CMA awards in 1971, Pride took the Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year award. In addition, Pride won his third Grammy in a span of 2 years which followed the gospel album “Did  You Think To Pray.”

Ben Peters

Ben James Peters was born in Greenville, Mississippi on June 20, 1933. Peters was a known country music songwriter who was the brain behind the hit songs of Charley Pride. Pride recorded 68 of Peter’s songs that made their way to the top of the American country charts. Peter was later on inducted into the country music Hall of Fame in 1980. Peter had a short stint as a recording artist himself. He was able to chart a single hit, one of his own compositions, “San Francisco is a Lonely Town” which was number 46 on the Country charts in 1969.

The Impact 

“Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” was one of the biggest hits in Charley Pride’s career. But its impact went more than just cementing Pride’s career as an artist. It also gave Country music the boost it needed during that time. It was during the ‘70s where crossover hits have begun to emerge. Having Country Music mixed up with the elements of pop, it seemed that Country music has lost its identity.

Prior to the release of “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin,’” Pride’s song has been labeled as traditional. Radio station owners wouldn’t even play Pride’s songs unless he eliminated the sound of the steel guitar. “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” stood out among the rest as it broke the trend of artists borrowing elements from country, adding country and mixing pop into songs.

“Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'” totally defined what country music really is.


Tags

Charley Pride, chet atkins, Jack Clement


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