Angel Of Montgomery - Bonnie Raitt (1974)
Our LCM Classic this week is a wonderful live cover of John Prine 'Angel Of Montgomery' from Bonnie Raitt. Bonnie first released her version on her 1974 'Streetlights' album. John released his original version in 1971. In a 2000 interview Bonnie stated: "I think 'Angel from Montgomery' probably has meant more to my fans and my body of work than any other song, and it will historically be considered one of the most important ones I've ever recorded. It's just such a tender way of expressing that sentiment of longing - like 'Hello In There' - without being maudlin or obvious. It has all the different shadings of love and regret and longing. It's a perfect expression from a wonderful genius.
John Prine wrote "Angel from Montgomery" after a friend suggested writing "another song about old people", referring to Prine's song "Hello In There". Although Prine had "said everything I wanted to [about seniors] in 'Hello In There'" he was intrigued by the idea of "a song about a middle-aged woman who feels older than she is...[Eventually] I had this really vivid picture of this woman standing over the dishwater with soap in her hands....She wanted to get out of her house and her marriage and everything. She just wanted an angel to come to take her away from all this". Prine believes he was likely drawn to Montgomery as the song's setting by virtue of being a fan of Hank Williams, who had ties to that city. "Angel from Montgomery" is also a concert staple of Hank Williams' granddaughter Holly Williams.