The summer is heating up as Country music star and award winning TV host Craig Morgan releases his brand new single "Corn Star". "Corn Star" is the second single to come off of Craig's latest album "This Ole Boy". The New York Times describes the song as one that 'prizes a certain kind of woman, not the kind you'd meet at the corner of Hollywood and Vine'.
The 3rd season of his hit TV show "Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors" premieres on July 1st, and his 6th Annual Charity Weekend benefiting Billy's Place is set to take place in his hometown of Dickson, TN August 11th and 12th.
Nashville Love got a chance to catch up with Craig this morning to discuss his new single, his charity, and many other exciting things happening in his career.
Nashville Love: Your father was a musician in Nashville, and you’ve said that you never wanted to be in the music business. What changed your mind?
Craig Morgan: The music. I started writing songs when I was in Korea and I liked it. I’ve always liked music, even as a kid trying to write songs. Because I was around it so much, I’ve always loved it. It ain’t that I didn’t want to be in the business, I just didn’t think that I would be. I didn’t think that I could do it. Everybody I met in Nashville was a musician or a singer or something. Every valet, every waiter. I thought, “I don’t want to compete with that!” (laughs) But it was the music that ended up bringing me right back to it.
Nashville Love: You recently moved to a new label. How has working with a new group of people influenced your work?
Craig Morgan: It’s as good as it’s ever been for me. I am with a group of people who have an energy and an excitement about this business that I’ve not felt since the early days at Broken Bow with Lee Adams and some of those folks. These people at Black River Entertainment really like their job and they’re excited about, not just about me and my music, but about the business and that’s fun to be around.
Nashville Love: This is your first new music in 3 years. Do you think Country Music has changed in the last 3 years?
Craig Morgan: I’m sure people would say yes, but I would say no. Country music never really changed, we’ve progressed. I think we’ve gotten better. Obviously technology has advanced. But country music is what it is. It is a living, breathing entity. And it always will be. It changes a little bit, but not so much that it changes what it is or who it is. The music might be a little different, I mean, Taylor Swift is so huge and she’s all over the place. And then we’ve still got John Connelly. We’ve still got the others. That’s what’s great about country music. It’s a wide range of emotions and feelings in the music, lyrically and melodically. I said it hadn’t changed, but it has changed obviously, but it’s not changed so much that it’s changed who or what we are as a format.
Nashville Love: Speaking of Taylor Swift, she is known for her songwriting. You have won awards for your songwriting as well (Songwriter Achievement Award from the Nashville Songwriters Association for "Almost Home”) and you co-write songs for your albums. What makes you choose someone else’s song instead of doing it yourself?
Craig Morgan: If it sounds like a hit. If it sounds like something that I would want to listen to and it’s something that I enjoy singing. That’s it, that’s all it takes. As far as some songs, I felt like I wrote them, they are that attachable. That’s it. I don’t care who wrote it, if it sounds like a hit, and I can get the rest of the label to agree with me, then it’s something that I’ll record. I’m not so arrogant that I think that I can pick them all, so we kind of work together at it.
Nashville Love: I love your song and video for “This Ole Boy!” How did you get Angie Harmon to star in the video?
Craig Morgan: I called her. I called her up and said, “Hey, I’d like you to be in my video.” And she said, “Sure.” Then she called me up and said, “Hey, will you come be in Rizzoli and Isles?” And I said, “Are you kidding me? Of course I will!”
Nashville Love: Have you already filmed your spot on the show?
Craig Morgan: I did. I filmed the first episode and I’m hoping to go back and do more. It looks like we may have the opportunity. We’ll see how well my character is liked on the show.
Nashville Love: Can you give us a little insight into your character?
Craig Morgan: I can tell you that I play a medical examiner from Texas.
Nashville Love: This wasn’t your first acting spot – you guest starred on Army Wives in 2011. Is acting a challenge for you or does it come naturally?
Craig Morgan: I don’t know. I don’t want to be so arrogant to say that it was easy, but when they wanted to know my acting experience, I told them that I had been acting like a singer for 12 years. (laughs) It has its difficulties. I will tell you this, I have a whole new gained respect for actors and their abilities and their efforts and such after doing this more now. But it is definitely something that I want to pursue more of. I enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun and it brings more attention to the music and to our format.
Nashville Love: Would you want to stick to doing TV or would you like to branch out to do movie roles?
Craig Morgan: Oh yeah. I would definitely want to do the movie stuff. We’ve been talking to some people and hopefully in the next three to six months, we’ll have some big announcements to make.
Nashville Love: Your new single is “Corn Star,” written by Shane Minor and Jeffrey Steele. Since you have an ‘in’ with the acting business, if you could cast any actress in the role of a “Corn Star,” who would it be?
Craig Morgan: Kristin Chenoweth. (laughs) I think she would be an awesome Corn Star.
Nashville Love: You have a song on the new album that you co-wrote called “Being Alive and Livin’.” Is this about you?
Craig Morgan: It is. Absolutely. 100%.
Nashville Love: Is there a check list in there (Being Alive and Livin’) of things you want to do?
Craig Morgan: I’ve done everything. The only thing I haven’t done is run with the bulls. And if I don’t get to do that this year, then next year for sure with my oldest son. He wants to do it as well. He and I are going to fly to Spain and we are going to run with the bulls! (laughs) And it will be on my TV show! (laughs)
Nashville Love: Speaking of your TV show, congratulations on your 2 Golden Moose Awards! Your TV show gives the public an insight into your active lifestyle. Are you scared of anything?
Craig Morgan: No. I’m scared of my children getting hurt, of losing loved ones – that stuff scares me. But as far as snakes and rats and being shot and stabbed and beat up and that stuff, no. I don’t care. The worst thing happens is that I die, and I’ve had a pretty good life.
Nashville Love: You travel a lot being on tour. I imagine that an active person like you would not enjoy being put on a bus and sent across the country. Do you enjoy being on the road or do you get bored?
Craig Morgan: No. I just hate being away from home. I’m a homebody. I’m a terrible homebody. I love being home. So that’s tough. But this bus has become my home over the last two or three years. It’s where I live more than I do at home. So in the same way you guys get up and grab your coffee, I do the same thing here I’m just on a bus.
Nashville Love: You served our country for over 10 years and you still go back – and into dangerous placed – to play for the men and women serving today. Are you scared of that?
Craig Morgan: No. I’m with the greatest people in the world when I do that usually. I’ve never been more protected than I am when I’m in those countries. (laughs) And I’ve been there before. Here’s my philosophy: when the good Lord gets ready for me, he’s going to take me. It don’t matter if I’m sitting in the house or if I’m in Afghanistan. That’s not to say that I don’t take precautions. I ride a dirt bike but I wear knee braces and I wear nice gear. I take care of myself. There’s a chance you can get hurt but I’m not going to stop living just because I might get hurt. It’s like saying you don’t ever want to fall in love because you don’t want to fall out of love.
Nashville Love: How does your family react to your daredevil attitude?
Craig Morgan: (laughs) I’ve got a big hospital bill. (laughs) They know me and my kids by our first names at the emergency room. (laughs)
Nashville Love: Is your family worried when you tell them that you want to go back to Afghanistan?
Craig Morgan: No. My wife is extremely supportive. I served in the military, so she gets it. She’s grateful too.
Nashville Love: You have a charity – the Craig Morgan Charity Fund, benefiting Billy’s Place. What inspired you to start this charity?
Craig Morgan: The kids. I was a sheriff’s deputy at one point. My wife and I fostered and we saw the need. We said that if we ever had the opportunity to do something for the community that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to establish a home for children who had been displaced from their families – for whatever reason. Children’s Services work very hard, but they are just overwhelmed and they needed help. So this is a way that we can give back to the community and help the community in a way that would be beneficial for its future. We have to take care of the kids – whether they are mine or somebody else’s.
Nashville Love: This is your sixth year doing a benefit. What are your future plans for it?
Craig Morgan: We are going to continue doing it and make it as big as we possibly can so we can raise as much money as we possibly can until Billy’s Place is a stand alone. When it’s able to function without the resources that we are able to provide, I don’t know that we would continue to do it. Or if we did, we have the Craig Morgan Charity Fund, we may continue to do it so that we can assist Billy’s Place as well as other children and military organizations that need funding. As long as people want to come and want to participate and want to help everybody else, then we are going to do it.
Nashville Love: I read that your daughter recently got married. Congratulations. Did that moment of giving your daughter away change you?
Craig Morgan: I don’t think so, no. I don’t think it changed me. It was a bittersweet moment. It’s wonderful to see that she found somebody that she cares so much about. That’s a good thing. But it’s also a little sad because she is my baby girl and moving on, but that’s part of life. It’s a good part.
Nashville Love: If your kids wanted to follow in your footsteps, what advice would you give them?
Craig Morgan: I’d tell them absolutely. I’d encourage them to do what they want to do. But first and foremost, get an education just in case the things they want to do aren’t working out. You gotta make sure your doing what God has planned. Sometimes what you want isn’t necessarily what God wants, and if he don’t want it, it ain’t gonna happen not matter how bad you want it or work at it. So I’d tell them to get an education and have something else and pursue your dreams that way you always have something you can rely on.
To find out more about Craig Morgan, visit www.craigmorgan.com
Become a fan of Craig's on Facebook at www.facebook.com/craigmorganmusic or follow him on Twitter at @cmorganmusic
You can purchase Craig's new single, "Corn Star" on iTunes here.