Mr. Craig Morgan, one of today’s top country music singers gave me the privilege of interviewing him for the second time. He has a very busy schedule, with his concert tours, his family and his 3rd season of “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors” T.V. Show which will begin airing on July 1st on the Outdoor Channel at 11pm on Sunday nights.
Mr. Morgan was born and raised in Kingston Springs Tennessee and now resides in Dickson Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. His country music career has soared since his debut album hit the air waves in 2000. Since then his popularity has grown and his true to life music has brought a whole new generation to love country music with such hits as “Bonfire”, “Redneck Yacht Club”, “What I Love About Sunday’, “This Ole Boy” and his new release “Corn Star” which is sure to become this summer’s anthem. These songs and his many others let his fans know that he is in touch with everyday life and with them.
Mr. Morgan is no stranger to hard work, he has been quoted as saying that hard work makes him feel like a man. He was an EMT at the age of 18, has worked as a contractor, a deputy sheriff, an assistant dairy manager at Wal-Mart and served 10 years in the army with the 101st and 82nd Airborne division. Mr. Morgan is also involved with the USO. He has made 9 overseas trips to entertain our troops and is the spokesperson for the organization Folds of Honor which provides post-secondary educational scholarships for children and spouses of U.S. military service members killed or disabled during service. He was also awarded the USO Merit Award for his tireless support of US soldiers and their families.
Mr. Morgan was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and has made over 170 appearances on the Opry stage. He was awarded the prestigious Songwriter Achievement Award from the Nashville Songwriters Association for his hit “Almost Home”.
He is devoted to charity work and will be hosting his 6th Annual Craig Morgan Charity ride and Concert in Dickson, Tenn. on August 11th and 12th 2012. The monies raised from the dirt bike ride, concert and sporting clay shoot support the Craig Morgan charity fund, which continues to raise funds to establish Billy’s Place an organization that will benefit foster children in Dickson County and throughout middle Tennessee.
This year’s event will start on Saturday morning with the Motocross exhibition which will feature Ricky Carmichael, Ryan Dungey, Kevin Windham and Randy Hawkins. This will be followed by a group trail ride and lunch held at the Paul Allen Farm in Vanleer Tn. Saturday night Craig Morgan will hold an intimate acoustic concert at the Dikson Middle School with some of his friends; Darrel Worley will be one of his guests. Sunday morning there will be a Sporting Clay Shoot held at the Nashville Gun Club in Nashville Tn. All information and ticket prices are on his website. www.craigmorgan.com
Billy’s Place is still a work in progress. Mr. Morgan had the idea for Billy’s place, which is named after his wife Karen’s father, while he was a deputy sheriff. He saw the many cracks in the child services system and also how some of the children in foster care moved from home to home. He wants to build a safe haven for these children and make their lives less stressful. He has a committee in place and they are looking at several locations to build or take over an existing home for children. He wants a place with property so they can learn about the outdoors and all the wonders it holds as well. You can make donations through the Craig Morgan Charity Fund at www.cfmt.org. to help him achieve his dream of making a great home for foster children. You can also follow them on facebook at Craig Morgan Charity Fund or Craig Morgan or on his official website.
Not only does he have a successful music career, but he also has a hit TV show on the Outdoor Channel “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors” which is in its third season and will air on Sunday nights beginning July 1st. His TV show incorporates his love for hunting, a glimpse behind the scenes of his concert tours, and his life at home with his wife Karen, their children, his love for dirt bikes, and the outdoors.
We all had someone special introduce us to the outdoors and for that we will never be able to truly repay them for giving us such a gift. Mr. Morgan is no exception; his Mother and Father were hard working people as well as hunters and fisherman. They introduced him to this addiction at an early age. With that being said here is the interview with Mr. Craig Morgan
LF: Who introduced you to hunting and what age were you?
My Mother and Father were both hunters and fisherman; they introduced me to hunting when I was 8 or 9 years old. I was with my Mother when I harvested my first whitetail at the age of 10. My Mother passed away in 2010, Dad is still living and I appreciate all they taught me. My work ethic comes from them as well as my love of the outdoors.
LF: When did you start Bowhunting?
I started shooting a bow in my teens but really got serious about bowhunting in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I began hunting mostly with a bow in 1995. I really like the challenge.
LF: What is your favorite big game animal to hunt and if you could only hunt in one state where would it be?
That is a really tough question but I would say my favorite animal would be a whitetail deer. There are a lot of states that I really like to hunt but if someone were to tell me I could only hunt one state I would have to say Tennessee, simply because it’s close to home and my family.
LF: How do you tie your music, your love for the outdoors, your charity work and your tours with the USO together?
We all place a lot of emphasis on small things here at home but the most important thing is a secure nation. Without that we have nothing. I will continue to do all I can to entertain the troops and to let them know how much they are appreciated and how much there service means to all of us. Freedom is the most important thing we have.
LF: How do you balance your TV show schedule “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors” with your music tours?
It’s really not that hard, I film for the TV show while I am on the road. It takes a few more phone calls, great organization and scheduling is very important. What makes it easy is having such a great wife and family. My wife is very supportive of what I do. I am away from home a lot and without her I would not be able to do the things that I do. That is where so many people that are on the road get into trouble. They don’t have a great support system with their families.
LF: What is your favorite hunt that will be airing this season?
Hawaii! This year there will be two shows that are from Hawaii. We hunted mouflon ram, wild boar and wild goats. We also went cliff diving and to a luau. I believe Hawaii is one of the most well kept secrets in hunting.
LF: What is your most memorable hunt that will be airing this season on “All Access Outdoors”.
I went on a hunt with my Dad and three of his brothers, we had a great time.
LF: This year at the 12th annual Golden Moose Award show held January 12th in Las Vegas at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino you not only earned one Golden Moose for “Best Deer Hunting, you won two, the other for Best Turkey Hunting? What did winning these Golden Moose award mean to you?
It was very rewarding, without the hard work of the producers, the camera men all the people behind the scenes it would not have been possible.
LF: What do you think makes your TV show “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoor” different from the other hunting shows?
We don’t try to hide anything or do a lot of retakes. I like to keep it real. If I miss a deer, I’ll show it. I don’t want people to be misled by the industry to where they think if they don’t shoot a 200” deer it’s not good enough. Everyone does not have the means or the place to hunt where they will shoot great big deer. I want people to see how much fun we have and how much we enjoy hunting and being with our friends and family. Without the producers and the camera men and all the people that work behind the scenes it would not be possible.
LF: What do you want people to take away from your show “Craig Morgan All Access Outdoors”?
First I want them to be entertained, make them laugh. I also hope to give them good information on products that will help them be more successful on their hunts.
LF: Is there anything that you would like for you fans to know about you that they don’t already know?
If they watch the show they already know everything about me. But I want people to know that I don’t pretend to be something that I am not and that I am living my dream.
LF: Who do you get “star struck” over in the outdoor industry or the music business?
I have never been star struck over anyone in the industry, I feel that they are regular people just like me and I treat them with the respect that I want to be treated with. The only person that I have ever been star struck over is Billy Graham.
LF: If you could sing with one person in the music industry that is either alive or dead who would it be?
Reba McEntire, I would love to so something with her before she stops singing. Also Sarah Evans, we have threatened for a long time that we have to do something together as well.
LF: If you could hunt with one person that is alive or dead, who would it be?
Jerry Martin or Toxie Hass. I have been wanting to hunt with Jerry Martin for a long time. I am hoping we can make that happen in the near future. I really appreciate the way that Toxie Hass incorporates his family and his love for the outdoors into everything he does.
LF: How important is it for you and your wife Karen to have your children involved in the outdoors?
It is very important to us. It doesn’t matter if we are hunting sheds, just walking in the woods or on our dirt bikes. Being outside I believe helps develop their immune system and helps them physically. It also give us time to bond with them, you can’t do if they are always plugged into something. I believe you should be involved in every part of your kid’s life, even to the point of being intrusive. I think you should know everything they are doing and who they are with. Even if they don’t like it they know that you love them and care about what’s going on in their life”.
LF: What legacy do you hope to leave behind?
Wow, I haven’t’ really thought about that. I guess what I want people to know is that I have lived my life to the fullest. That I have been very blessed, that God is first in my life only above my wife and children and that I am very grateful to all of my fans.
I have been a fan of both Mr. Morgan’s music and his TV show for a long time and must say that I really enjoyed the short time I had to spend with him on the phone. He is quick with a laugh and has genuine warmth about him which made him very easy to talk to. Maybe it’s because we are both from the south and had similar upbringings with a family that loved him and knew the importance of raising him in the outdoors and teaching him the importance of wildlife management through hunting and fishing. One thing is for sure Mr. Morgan has his feet planted firmly on the ground and does not put on airs. Even with all the awards and honors that he has accumulated the most important to him are God, his family and his country.
I would like to thank Mr. Morgan for his time and also to his publicist Heather Conley at Monarch Publicity for making this interview possible.