Lorrie Morgan Biography

Loretta Lynn Morgan, 27 June 1959, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The youngest daughter of country crooner and Grand Ole Opry star George Morgan, she followed in her father’s footsteps. She naturally began singing with her father and made her own Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 13 at the old Ryman Auditorium, where her rendition of ‘Paper Roses’ gained her a standing ovation. After her father’s death in 1975, she worked as a backing singing with George Jones’ roadshow and for a time was married to Ron Gaddis, who played steel guitar in Jones’ band. In 1979, she scored her first minor chart successes with ‘Two People In Love’ and ‘Tell Me I’m Only Dreaming’, and charted with a duet recording made earlier with her late father, ‘I’m Completely Satisfied With You’. The same year, she had a daughter but her marriage ended and, tiring of life on the road, she retired. In 1984, the lure of the music enticed her back. She became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and relaunched her career. She met and married singer Keith Whitley in 1986 but the marriage ended when Whitley’s heavy drinking finally took his life in May 1989 (she later recorded a tribute to Whitley, ‘If You Came Back From Heaven’, which appeared on 1994’sWar Paint).

In 1988, Morgan joined RCA Records and had a Top 20 hit with ‘Trainwreck Of Emotion’, but it was a number 9 weepy, ‘Dear Me’, entering the charts just a few weeks before Whitley’s death, that finally established her as a major star. In 1990, she achieved her first number 1 with ‘Five Minutes’ and from that point onwards, she registered a regular stream of hit recordings. They included ‘Til A Tear Becomes A Rose’ (a duet made with Whitley), ‘Except For Monday’ and ‘A Picture Of Me Without You’ (a brave and very successful cover version of a 1972 George Jones hit) on RCA. A change of label to BNA in 1992 immediately produced a number 2 hit with ‘Watch Me’, and a further number 1 with ‘What Part Of No’. By now Morgan had proved herself equally at home with up-tempo numbers or with ballads, such as her brilliant recording of ‘Something In Red’, which peaked at number 14. She attempted something different in 1993, when she recorded a Christmas album that had the New World Philharmonic Orchestra providing the music, and vocal duets with Tammy Wynette, Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis (the music was recorded in London and the vocals added in Nashville, Branson or Los Angeles).

In 1993, she gained a Top 10 hit with ‘Half Enough’ and a minor placement for her version of ‘Crying Time’, which came from the movie The Beverly Hillbillies. In 1995, the release of Greatest Hits led to further chart successes. ‘I Didn’t Know My Own Strength’ gave her another number 1 and soon afterwards, ‘Back In Your Arms Again’, a Fred Knobloch / Paul Davis song, with a catchy chorus, peaked at number 4. Her stunning version of ‘Standing Tall’, a Larry Butler /Ben Peters song that Billie Jo Spears had taken to number 15 in 1980, followed. A video of her singing the number, actually filmed on the stage of the old Ryman Auditorium home of the Grand Ole Opry, gained her recording major exposure on CMT and represented her best vocal performance since ‘Something In Red’. Morgan married Jon Randall on 16 November 1996, although the couple later separated. She released an excellent duet album with Sammy Kershaw in 2001 and married him in the same year.


Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.


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