Lorrie Morgan called me from Nashville for a pre-Winstock interview Thursday.
When most little girls are growing up, becoming a country music star is probably one of the last things they think about.
Unless, of course, that little girl happens to be Lorrie Morgan. Morgan is the daughter of Grand Ole Opry legend, George Morgan, and has been surrounded by music her entire life.
“It was every kid’s dream, at least for one who wanted to be in music,” said Morgan about growing up with such a strong musical presence in their household.
“It was music and music people that were around all the time, and, of course, the Grand Ole Opry every other week. It was wonderful. Music was always a part of our lives and has always been a part of my life. I was born into it, it was the only thing I ever knew growing up.”
After being with her dad backstage at the Opry for many nights, Morgan was given the opportunity to tour with recent Winstock 2002 signee George Jones.
“I actually had to audition for that job,” said Morgan about touring with Jones. “George knew my dad really well years ago, but George and I never really hung out together. They were having auditions, and my husband at that time, Ron, who still plays bass for George, told me that they were going to audition girl singers, as they called us back then, so I went one night. There were about three other girls there, and I went in and sang a couple duets with George, and they called me the next day and told me I had the gig.”
Going from hanging out backstage at the Opry, to touring with George Jones, it is no surprise that Morgan was offered membership at the Grand Ole Opry in 1985, even before she had a major record deal.
Several years later, she was signed to RCA, where she has been ever since, and had her first number one hit song, “Five Minutes.”
“I couldn’t believe it,” Morgan recalls about finding out “Five Minutes” went to number one. “I was blown away, not only blown away about having a record deal, but to finally have a hit record. I mean, I’d been working for years around the local clubs here in Nashville, and had gone to every record label in town, and it just felt like it was never going to happen, and then after I married Keith (Whitley, her late husband), he kind of put in a good word for me at RCA and they signed me up, and my whole career has been with RCA.”
Some of her many hits include “Something In Red,” “What Part of No,” “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” “Good As I Was To You,” and most recently “Go Away.”
In 1990, she won the CMA Vocal Event of the Year for “’Til A Tear Becomes a Rose,” her duet with Keith Whitley, and four years later won the CMA’s Album of the Year award for “Common Threads: Songs of the Eagles.”
Most recently, Morgan released a duet album with her new fiance, Sammy Kershaw. This album is available now, and features six duets and three solo songs from each.
Morgan and Kershaw have also recently announced their wedding date for Sept. 29 in Nashville.
About her music overall, Morgan told me, “As a woman, my music varies from day to day, year to year, and I think it’s whatever I’m going through in my life at the time. Women are so different all the time, and I think that’s one thing my music has portrayed, in a way, is that I’m consistent as far as country, but as far as how you grow and mature, some days you feel like a little girl, and some days you feel like an old hag. It just depends on what my life is going through.”
Although Morgan has only had four or five of her self-written songs recorded, she does love to song write. “I do a lot of song writing, but unfortunately I’ve only had about four or five of my own songs on my CDs. Right now I’m involved in writing a movie script, so I’ve got my last scene to finish. I’ve been working on that for a little over a year now.” She laughingly adds, “Can’t tell ya much about it, though.”