Country Music Starlet Lorrie Morgan talks duets, dogs and dining in the Mid-South
Interview by Casey Hilder
Country music superstar Lorrie Morgan’s career began nearly 50 years ago when a then-16-year-old girl took the stage for the first of many performances at the hallowed grounds of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. By 24, Morgan, the daughter of Country Music Hall of Famer George Morgan, was inducted as an official Member of the Grand Ole Opry. The sultry songstress’ career spans decades of American music history, echoing through hits like 1992’s “Watch Me” and anthemic “What Part of No.” This month, Morgan sat down for an interview with Click Magazine hot on the heels of her September 28 show in Memphis, Tennessee, at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center.
Click Magazine: You come from a very musical family. What was it like growing up?
Lorrie Morgan: I always felt blessed. I always felt like I was picked to be special around these great singers and entertainers that would come to our house for dinner all the time. It was like a child who loves Disney and gets to have all the characters visit their house.
CM: Who were some of the characters that came to visit?
LM: “Stringbean” David Akeman, Grandpa Jones, Jean Shepherd, Minnie Pearl, Jan Howard. My gosh, the list could go on and on. My house was the last stop before they hit the road, so they’d always have their cars parked out front. My dad loved company and entertaining folks. People would always stop by to play cards or try some sort of food he conjured up.
CM: What’s a place that you always love to visit when you’re down here in the Mid-South?
LM: I’d be a fool to say I didn’t love some barbecue. Rendezvous is great, I love that place. And of course I’m a big Elvis fan, so I always have to stop by the mansion.
CM: I hear you’re an animal lover. What kind of pets do you have?
LM: I have two Pit Bulls, two Great Pyrenees, four chickens and one rooster.
CM: Let’s talk Letting Go...Slow, an album of yours with a mix of original songs and covers. How did you choose what songs you wanted to cover?
LM: I just picked what I wanted, simple as that. Songs that touched me as a young child, songs I’ve felt a connection with over the years. This will sound corny, but I swear that what I look outside, what I feel, what I do, revolves around the music. It just moves me. It was really hard to narrow down to just a few of those songs. I could’ve probably made that a double album.
CM: What’s it like to work with Pam Tillis?
LM: Pam and I have become very, very good friends in our later years. Everyone thinks we’ve known each other since we were little girls at the Opry, but that’s really a misconception. Pam didn’t grow up running around backstage at the Opry, she was more of a rock and roller who kind of went off on her own. We really didn’t start working together until the late ‘90s, when we went on the Kraft Macaroni and Chicks Tour along with Carlene Carter. That’s kind of how we got to know each other, but we’ve really gotten to know each other over the last six or so years working on our first duet record, Dos Divas. Right now, we’re working on our second one, which is coming out next month. It’s called Come See Me & Come Lonely. This one is my favorite because I got to record alongside producer Richard Landis, who worked on my albums, Something in Red and Watch Me. It was a blessing working alongside him again and I think he had a blast getting in there with two different artists. Two divas, if you want to be real about it.
CM: What was it like working on your upcoming duet album, Come See Me & Come Lonely.
LM: We had fun. It was really a great album and we really just delved down into the archives of country music and recorded some of the best songs that we grew up loving. It’s really funny because you can tell the difference between the eras we grew up in when you hear the album. It’s very interesting
CM: Who is someone that you’ve always wanted to collaborate with, but haven’t had the chance?
LM: That would be Andrea Bocelli. I love the way he sings and I’ve always been a huge fan of his. When a fellow singer makes you cry just by listening to them, it really means something. Hearing him really gets you right down to the bone.
CM: What advice do you have for young songstresses out there trying to make it in Nashville?
LM: Run! As fast as you can. Just kidding. But if you really want success in this business, know that it’s a hard business that wasn’t made for sissies, I’ll tell you that. Take the good compliments as well as the bad comments and know how to handle “no.”