December 4

Mo Pitney Cover of “Borrowed Angel”

Mo Pitney did a great job at covering “Borrowed Angel” on the Country Family Reunion Honky Tonk Series. Oh, my! This guy is blessed with a great talent for singing traditional country music. Some see a new Keith Whitley in him; many even compare him to a younger Dwight Yoakam and Merle Haggard.

In the family, music was a big affair. At age 6, Pitney picked up the drums and at age 12, the guitar. “I learned how to play with a cast on my arm by laying a rag over my dad’s guitar so it would not get scratched”, he says. “Johnny Cash at San Quentin was my introduction to playing music. I learned the whole album”.

In his webpage:

“People who have done this for a long time think there’s a place for my music, and I hope that’s the case. My eyes are set on being successful, but success is not number one for me. If I can make a comfortable living and have a career making music and keep my head on straight, that’s my goal. And I think that I have a great opportunity to do that if I don’t get ahead of myself”.

Background of Borrowed Angel

The ruggedly handsome singer Mel Street noticed Jim and Jean Prater, electronics store and television cable company owners. Joe Deaton, a disc jockey, also caught his attention. Having already established Tandem Records, a small label, it was primarily used as a showcase for Deaton. When Deaton’s first effort fell short, the chiefs decided to sign Street. He brought with him “Borrowed Angel”.

At RCA’s Studio A in Nashville in October 1970, Street recorded “Borrowed Angel” with Deaton as its producer. Supporting Street on the record were “Big” musicians Buddy Harman, Lloyd Green, Kelso Herston, Tommy Jackson, Buddy Spicher, Bob Moore, Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Billy Sanford and Pete Wade. Because none of Street’s backers knew much about the music business, it took two years and three different packagings before the single became a hit.

On May 27, 1972, “Borrowed Angel” got into the Billboard charts under Tandem label. By the time it made its way up to 7th spot, it was transferred over to Royal American, a small Nashville-based label.



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