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A little bit country

August 22, 2006|by BRIANNA DORSEY

One dream.

Two broken bones.

Three country music albums.

Two No. 1 hits.

Two motorcycle accidents.

One pink cast.

Fifty weeks at No. 1.

These are just a few of the numbers that describe one of the country's hottest music stars, Craig Morgan.

Morgan will be coming to Hagerstown on Saturday, Aug. 26, to perform at Hagerstown Community College.

His country music career is soaring. His fourth album, "My Kind of Livin'," has been on the country music chart for 50-plus weeks. He had two major hits on that CD, "That's What I Love About Sundays" and "Redneck Yacht Club." "That's What I Love About Sundays," was voted most-played and -heard country song for 2005, according to Billboard magazine. He has just recently put out another single, "Little Bit of Life," from his latest CD.

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He is scheduled to perform at the 10th annual Christmas for Kids benefit concert on Nov. 20 in Nashville, Tenn., along with Charlie Daniels and Sawyer Brown.

But Morgan is not one-dimensional - he is involved in things he has always loved, such as motorcycle racing. During a race in June, he broke his leg. He donated his pink cast to the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation for use in fundraising.

I interviewed Morgan by phone recently. He presented himself as an ordinary guy with a cool career.

"I wake up every day and pinch myself to see if it is real," he said.

When I asked him what it's like to be famous, he replied, "I don't know. Go ask someone famous." Then he added, "It's no different except when you go to, like, Wal-Mart and people start asking you questions."

Morgan was born in Dickson, Tenn. As a boy, he enjoyed riding motorcycles, fishing and hunting. He grew up on mostly country music. His dad was a bass player in Tennessee.

As he grew up, he decided to go into the military. He spent 10 years in the service. While he was overseas, Morgan began to think about things that we often take for granted - the little things in life. He began to write songs about the things back home.

After Morgan returned home, he worked to support his family. When he was not working, he pursued his passion, writing songs. He could sometimes write up to five songs a day. He made a couple of demos here and there.

Then he got a big break.

"(Nashville promoter) Bryan Switzer heard my songs, and he published a CD," Morgan said.

The CD was titled "Craig Morgan." Craig first heard one of his songs on the radio while he was in a weigh station in Dickson. He was excited, he said. "It's what you live for."

Morgan does not remember his first time on stage - "It was so long ago." Now when he goes on stage he feels great. The lyrics are what go through his mind while he is on stage. The only thing he said he really gets nervous about is that he might forget the lyrics. But when his voice feels good and everything is working, "it feels awesome to be on stage."

Morgan plays the acoustic guitar and still writes most of his own songs, although on his latest CD, he did not write as many of the songs due to his busy career.

"I now write about 30 songs a year," he said. One of the people that influenced his music was John Conlee.

Craig now lives in Nashville with his wife and four kids. When he is not off performing, he enjoys hunting, fishing, riding motorcycles and just hanging out with his family.

"Nothing has changed much," he said. He said that the best and worst thing about being famous is the money.

When he has the time, he listens to mostly country, blues and contemporary Christian music.

Morgan has two tips for anybody who wants to become professional singer.

"Make sure it is something that you really want to do," he said. "(And) make sure you're cut out for it, because it is hard."




If you go ...



WHO: Craig Morgan; The Knight Brothers will open

WHEN: 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26

WHERE: Hagerstown Community College Alumni Amphitheatre, Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown

COST: Tickets cost $17.50 to $35. Purchase tickets at the HCC bookstore or go to www.wfre.com

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