Charley Pride Hit Number One In 1971 With “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’”

ByQuyen Anne

Apr 15, 2024

Country artist Charley Pride had had seven previous number-one hits in his career before “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” came along. And it was one of his biggest career hits, earning him a number one as well as two major awards show wins. It was no surprise that it also became his signature track.

1971 marked a broad-scale change for country music. According to CMT, 30 out of the 52 weeks were dominated by either a Black or a female artist – and one of those was Pride. His track, “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’,” written by Ben Peters and produced by Jack Clement, released in October, closed the year with tremendous success.

The song earned Pride his eighth number-one and first (and only) single to reach the Top 40 on the pop charts, peaking at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also crossed to the Adult Contemporary charts and nabbed a Top 10 position.

Here’s a question many of you might ask: So, what was so special about this song?

Meaning Behind the Song

First, Charley Pride’s hits had always been bittersweet, just like his two other number-ones that year, “I’m Just Me” and “I’d Rather Love You.” And this track was the first based on love and love alone. Second, the song’s meaning was simple but as magical as you’d imagine.

In the first verse, he talked about meeting old friends on the street and them asking him, “How does a man get to be this way / Always got a smiling face, anytime and any place?” To which he would respond, smiling and singing, that he got to kiss his angel good morning and tell her that he’d be thinking about her when she was gone. And then getting to love her like the devil when she gets home.

In the second verse, he shared how people may try to guess the secret to their happy and fulfilled marriage, but the reality is that some would never really learn how it was just a simple thing. That is, it was just a man and woman in love. And if they knew better, they’d listen to the song he always sang because that was everything they needed to know.

Third, the juxtaposition of the simple lyrics sung by a magnificent voice like Pride’s and the complex rhythms and melodies was just glorious.

In an interview with SiriusXM in 2020, he shared that Clement would tell him, “He’d tell me, Charley, 50 years from now, you’ll still be hearing these songs we’re recording now.” And he couldn’t be more right. Charley Pride’s songs have become a staple in country music.

Catch Charley Pride’s “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’” in the video below.

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