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Country boy aims for country stardom

Singer Craig Morgan performs Friday night at The Maryland Theatre

Singer Craig Morgan performs Friday night at The Maryland Theatre

November 22, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

Craig Morgan is a country boy and a military veteran, two perspectives that have contributed to his career as a country singer.

Morgan, 40, grew up in country music's capital, Nashville, where his father was a bass player.

But music didn't become important to Morgan until he joined the Army and was away from home, including being in Panama in 1989 for the ousting of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega.

His Army experiences influenced his life perspectives and his music, which has included hits "That's What I Love About Sunday" and "Redneck Yacht Club" in 2005.

His latest single release from his "Little Bit of Life" album, "International Harvester," has been working its way up Billboard's Hot Country Songs, where it was No. 23 on Tuesday.

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Morgan will perform some hits and possibly cover classics by artists such as John Conlee and Merle Haggard at Friday night's concert at The Maryland Theatre.

He also will perform new music. Morgan is working on a new CD.

Morgan writes some of his songs but not all, including "Tough."

The song "felt like something that I had written," Morgan said. For Morgan, the song was never really about cancer, but about how much more gracefully women deal with adversity in their lives.

"Tough" makes Morgan think about his wife, who had precancerous cells but was "all better" when Morgan spoke to The Herald-Mail last month.

In December, Morgan will complete his current tour, which will have spanned 12 months and approximately 180 concert dates at fairs, theaters and large venues.

He lives near Nashville with his wife and five kids, but his family doesn't go on the road with him. They're busy doing their own thing, Morgan said.

Asked how he balances all those tour dates with family life, Morgan said, "I don't know. I would say I don't do it very well. I'm not home a lot."

But he has big ambitions for his country music career. His goals are multiplatinum sales, radio hits and to keep busy, keep everyone on his tour busy.

"I feel good. I'd like to be a lot further ahead than where we're at in the scheme of things, but I'm also very grateful," Morgan said.

"I didn't get out of the Army to be a mediocre artist," Morgan said.




If you go ...

WHAT: Country singer Craig Morgan

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., downtown Hagerstown

COST: $35. A few single seats were available Tuesday for $43.

MORE: For tickets, call 301-790-2000 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday or one hour before the concert, or go to www.mdtheatre.org.

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