Seven Spanish Angels

"Seven Spanish Angels" is a song written by Troy Seals and Eddie Setser, and recorded by Ray Charles as a duet with Willie Nelson in 1984.


Seven Spanish Angels (WORD)
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"Seven Spanish Angels" was released in November 1984 as a single from Charles' 1984 album Friendship. As written, the song included the lines: "Now the people in the valley swear/That when the moon's just right/They see the Texan and his woman/Ride across the clouds at night", which Billy Sherrill, the producer, preferred not to record, feeling the track would run too long. Charles and Nelson split the verses, with Charles singing the first and Nelson the second, Charles sang the first and second choruses with Nelson joining for the outro. It was also included on Nelson's 1985 compilation album Half Nelson. "Seven Spanish Angels" was the most successful of Charles' eight hits on the country chart. The single spent one week at number one and a total of twelve weeks on the country chart.

Setser had suggested the title "Seven Spanish Angels" and he and Seals had written the song as a homage to the tejano-flavored classic hits of Marty Robbins exemplified by Robbins' career record "El Paso" (Troy Seals quote): "When we finished it we thought 'Who in the world's gonna do it?' because Marty was [deceased]." Within two days "Seven Spanish Angels" had been successfully pitched to Willie Nelson. Before Nelson was able to record it, producer Billy Sherrill happened to hear the demo and wanted the song for Ray Charles. Sherrill proposed that Nelson and Charles duet on the song after learning of Nelson's having reserved it.

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