Member Since 2008
Craig Morgan made his Opry debut on April 21, 2000 and was invited to become an Opry member during a special concert for U.S. tropos at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina on September 18, 2008. That evening was a homecoming of sorts for the singer, who was stationed at Ft. Bragg from 1990 to 1992 during his ten-year active duty tenure in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.
Opry member John Conlee surprised Craig with the invitation onstage during his performance of “Rose Colored Glasses,” a song popularized by Conlee in 1978 and often found on Craig’s set list. When invited by John to be the newest member of the Opry, he was quick to respond. “Oh, God Yes! I do love the Grand Ole Opry and I gotta tell you, it’s cool to be invited right here.”
Craig has made a name for himself with massive radio airplay of his signature hits, among them “Almost Home,” (named Music Row song of the year in 2003), the chart-topping summer anthem, “Redneck Yacht Club,” and “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” which spent five weeks at No. 1 and was Billboard’s most played country song of the year in 2005. He released his fifth CD That’s Why on October 21. The album’s lead single, “Love Remembers,” is rapidly climbing in the charts.
Craig has wide appeal because of his honesty, his work ethic, and his humility. Describing his upbringing he says, “We grew up tough; dirt road, singlewide trailer.” On his way to becoming a country music star, he spent time as an EMT, a contractor, a sheriff’s deputy, a Wal-Mart assistant dairy manager, and did a ten year stint in the Army.
Success has not changed him. After most gigs, he is right there with his band and road crew loading up the truck. He says, “something in my genes and my blood requires that I work – right or wrong, it makes me feel like a man.” He adds, “People ask me how I stay grounded. Man, I go home and I still mow my own grass, I clean my own pool. I have kids that I get onto and play with and love the same as everybody else. I will always be that same guy. Just like the people who buy our records and listen to our music.”
His schedule is hectic; he has performed on the Grand Ole Opry more than 130 times and plays over 200 sold-out concerts a year. He also frequently performs at military bases both at home and abroad; he received the USO Merit Award for his musical contributions to the troops. Being on the road so much gives him a greater appreciation of home and family. “Family truly is the thing that’s most important,” Craig says. “I love the music; I love singing and writing songs and producing records. But ultimately, I do what I have to do to take care of my family. Even someone who has the greatest job in the world would rather spend more time at home. I know I would, and I have the best job in the world.”
This Ole Boy