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Lorrie Morgan Interview - February/March 2024

(CSC) 1. Thanks so much for your time. Great to be here with you in beautiful Key West! Congratulations on celebrating 40 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry as you embark on your Ruby tour! We’ll also note that you are giving away ruby jewelry all year long thanks to Lindell Jewelers of Brentwood, TN. 

(Lorrie Morgan)

That's right. Thank you very much! I'm excited. I mean, I can't believe, and I wanna tell your listeners that I do have laryngitis, so I'm very sorry. And tonight, I just blew it out one more time. So, I've got the Opry Tuesday night, so I'm gonna be in quiet mode.

But yes, I'm excited about my 40 years celebration with the Grand Ole Opry, the Ruby tour. We are giving away Lindell Jewelry. I don't know when that's gonna start exactly, but we are. And I'm just really excited! I'm so blessed.

It feels like yesterday when I just signed with the Opry and I was a little kid backstage, you know, really begging the manager back then, Hal Durham, “Please make me a member. Please. Please. Please.” You know? Hal, “Lorrie come back in a few weeks,” you know. And I was there the next day.  But I've been very fortunate to be where I love to be, and that's the Opry.

(CSC) 2. Thinking back on the night of your Opry induction (June 9th, 1984), what special moments from that evening still resonate with you all these years later?

(Lorrie Morgan) 

Well, my whole family was there.  And we are a smaller family now, we're almost at 50 in my immediate family, with nieces and great nieces, and the nephews. My whole family was there that night, and Bill Anderson introduced me as the newest member. And he had me, like, 2 dozen roses, presented them to me on stage. [phone notification goes off] and that was Avon calling, in case anybody wonders. But anyway, I was a nervous wreck. I'm always nervous when I do the Opry, always nervous. So that night, I was particularly nervous because I had no idea what I was gonna say. And to be there, you know, standing next to Bill Anderson, it was amazing. I was a wreck. I don't remember even what I sang, actually [laughs].

(CSC) 3. Tell us about your podcast, War Paint with Lorrie Morgan. How did this opportunity initially come together, and I understand it will begin airing on television in June 2024!?

(Lorrie Morgan)

Yes. It is gonna be on television. We've had a blast doing this podcast called War Paint. We've had Larry Gatlin on, Pam Tillis, Nancy Jones, T. Graham Brown and Jimmy Fortune, and a lot of success stories; most of them are success stories. And that doesn't mean success in money. That means success in survival, being strong, being able to accept and deal with your challenges and things like that. But it's not just for, you know, people like that. But that's what I focused on mostly, put your war paint on, and, you know, get out and fight. But it's been great!

(CSC) 4. What have been some of your most favorite highlights and funny moments from the show so far?

(Lorrie Morgan)

Oh, there was a really funny one the other day. We had Waylon Payne on. Do you know who Waylon is?  He's like my son. And Waylon, there's no filter, there's no filter with Waylon. And, he was my last guest the other day on the show, and [laughs] he was talking about being gay and being in this industry, how tough he has had it and how hard it was to be accepted, you know, in country music. And his friends, myself, Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, I mean, he's got some pretty good friends that stand behind him and beside him. The Opry has had him on, they're gonna have him back on again this year. He loves the Grand Ole Opry.

He has this dog that we found when he was on the road with me. He has this dog named Petey. And we rescued Petey from a bum on the street. We literally walked off the bus when the bum fell in the ditch. He was throwing the dog around, just this little bitty chihuahua. And I said, “Waylon, get out there and get that dog.” And Waylon just walked out and said, how you doing? He picked up the dog and brought him on the bus, and he's been with Waylon for about 10 years.

So Petey's probably about 10 years old, but he sings. And we got him to sing the other day on the podcast. And I sang “My Night to Howl.” He was going, [emulating dog howling], [laughs], we couldn't hardly shut him up. It was like the dog wants to sing. So that was one of my favorite moments, having Petey as a special guest sing.

(CSC) 5. Who would you really love to sit down with for an interview that you haven’t yet?

(Lorrie Morgan)

Well, I’m getting ready to call on Jamey Johnson. I wanna do Johnny Van Zant. I wanna do some of the wives of some of the male artists; the one that gets left at home. Because I've been on both ends of the spectrum, I've been the wife at home, and I've been alone out here. And it's a different role, it's a different life when you're an entertainer's wife, it's a whole different ballgame. And so, I think it would be interesting for people to know how the wives deal with it. And, you know, women throwing bras and stuff up on the stage, and panties and all kinds things like, I mean, it's weird. It's a weird deal.

So, I think that's an interesting perspective for us to delve into. I did Jeannie Seeley the other day as well, and the manager of the Opry, Dan Rogers. Opry Dan, we call him. And let's see, besides those other two people, I had a whole list. I've done Pam, we did an hour long with Pam because you can't make that short!

(CSC) Maybe you could get Reba, that would be cool!

(LM) You know, I thought about that!

I want to try and get Dolly. I'm gonna try for Dolly! You know all people could say is no. Okay. That's fine. We'll move on to the next one. But I have always secretly been, like, a girl crush on Dolly. I mean, like, really. Like I mean, not physically, but a girl crush. I want her long blonde hair, I want her bottle of perfume. You know, I have been amazed with Dolly all my life, and it's been kind of my secret thing that I've kept quiet. I've never bugged her. I got to do a duet with her one time on her album called “May The Best Woman Win.” And I was so nervous, I don't remember it. I just don't remember it; I was beside myself.

(CSC) 6. What’s a typical day like for you when you’re in the studio working and planning the show?

(Lorrie Morgan)

Oh, there was a really funny one the other day. We had Waylon Payne on. Do you know who Waylon is?  He's like my son. And Waylon, there's no filter, there's no filter with Waylon. And, he was my last guest the other day on the show, and [laughs] he was talking about being gay and being in this industry, how tough he has had it and how hard it was to be accepted, you know, in country music. And his friends, myself, Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, I mean, he's got some pretty good friends that stand behind him and beside him. The Opry has had him on, they're gonna have him back on again this year. He loves the Grand Ole Opry.

Well, I'm always running late. It's a given. I still haven't got my timing right from where I live now to make it to Nashville because Nashville has grown so much. We have so much traffic. It's absolutely like LA. I mean, and I'm not used to it. When Randy and I moved back from Florida, it was a total different ballgame. And I'm always late. No matter where I go, I think I've left in plenty of time, and I look down, I’m 15 minutes late, always. That's a typical day.

And then, I get there and we just, I already know. I don't have a planned script or any kind of questions I'm gonna ask. I wing it, I just wing it. That just kinda feels more natural to me that way. And as an artist, we're used to answering the same questions so much. I wanna go weird places, strange places and, you know, make people laugh.

And I'll tell you what. I did an interview with T Graham the other day, T Graham Brown. He opened up some places that I didn't even know about. I mean, he was one of the best podcasts I've done. He was so open and honest about his sobriety. Well, I'm not gonna blow the interview, but just things he's dealt with. It's a well worthwhile watching the podcast when T. Graham's on. 

Enjoy Part II of our interview with Lorrie Morgan:

(CSC) 7. Your faith life is very important to you, being a devout Catholic, what valuable elements of the faith did your beloved parents instill within your soul?

(Lorrie Morgan)

I would say that the power of prayer, and the importance of forgiveness are the main things. I love the ritual of our faith, but admittedly my touring schedule doesn’t always allow me to make it to Mass. The Rosary is also very important to me, and a love for Mary. I turn to her often. Non-Catholics question our veneration of Mary, but it is acknowledgement of her very special place in our faith, her grace, and the special influence that only a mother can have.


(CSC) 8. Do you have any particular favorite prayers, devotionals or scripture that you enjoy in both the good times and the bad?

(Lorrie Morgan)

I love the Lord’s prayer. It’s so simple yet all encompassing. Also, I just try to talk to God, as I would my Father. He knows my heart but it is so helpful to just state your needs and desires, as you would to a loving parent.

(CSC) 9. What do you cherish most about your Catholic faith and how does it define you personally as a strong woman?

(Lorrie Morgan)

I suppose I identify with Mary … having endured painful losses, but still clinging to faith. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone gets through this life without faith, and it doesn’t have to be a specific religion, though this is the faith in which I was raised and identify. The belief in a greater, loving power, and the hope of a life after this. Those are the important things.


(CSC) 10. Being the daughter of country music legend, Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Fame member, George Morgan, what are some of your fondest memories of your father in both the personal and professional sense?

(Lorrie Morgan)

Everything. He was the light of my life. He did no wrong in my eyes. He was a perfect gentleman, funny.  He was a great dad. Never got a spanking from him. Was always that look in his eyes where he'd tear up if I did something wrong. And I knew I had just broken my dad's heart, and that was more punishment to me than a belt. I'd rather be pissed off, and then I got a whooping, then see me break my dad's heart.

And he was just you know, everybody in the business loved my dad. And it was really hard for me to follow those footsteps because I was kind of a little rebel, and a little beep head, you know. And so, it was kinda hard for me to follow those huge footsteps of my dad's.

He was everybody's friend. He was just hilarious. He loved food. You know, he was just fun to be around. When my dad was around, there was a party. And, you know, I never saw him take a drink of alcohol ever. He always drank coffee and smoked Camel cigarettes, and that's probably what did him in at 51 years old. But he just loved people around him all the time, and his children and his wife.


(CSC) 11. I read that your father was the very last person to sing on stage at the Ryman (March 15th, 1974), before it moved to the Grand Ole Opry house, then one week later, he was the very first to sing on stage at its new home! Thinking about his untimely passing at just 51 years old, what would you say the Opry meant to him?

(Lorrie Morgan)

Yes. That’s true! I've seen him sweat bullets to get back home and meet his twenty-five days a year quota. You know, it was a rule, you had to be there twenty-five Saturdays a year. And back then, it took them, hell a week to get to somewhere because they drove in cars. And, you know, they tie the bass fiddle on the top, and the girls would sit, you know, in between the guys in these station wagons. And they'd go all over the country driving themselves. So, to make it back to go to the Opry, it was a struggle sometimes, but he loved that Opry more than anything, anybody over there. Any, anybody. His best friends were at the Opry. And consequently, you know, my best friends are at the Opry. And when we do the Opry, I'm home. I love it. I love it there.


(CSC) 12. I did not know that your full name was Loretta Lynn Morgan! Explain that! What precious memories that you and Loretta shared the countless times you performed at the Grand Ole Opry together! Miss her so much!

(Lorrie Morgan)

You know, I loved her a lot. I didn't get to be around Loretta a lot. My dad and mom went out to dinner a lot with her and Mooney, and Patsy [Cline] and Charlie. And I can remember Loretta Lynn's shoes when I was a little girl. I would stare at her high heels, and they were always so magical to me. It's just like, if I could just wear those shoes for one minute. You know? I mean, little girls dream of high heels and makeup and lipstick, and she had the best heels always. But she was always great to me. She called me her namesake. I'm not. It's actually just a coincidence that I got named Loretta Lynn because I was born in 1959. And Loretta didn't come to Nashville till [19]60, 61, something like that, 62. So I was named after my grandma, Loretta. So that's how I got the name.

(CSC) 13. You will be releasing a follow-up to your 1997 autobiography, “Forever Yours Faithfully: My Love Story.” What inspired you to revisit authoring another book?

(Lorrie Morgan)

People pissin’ me off [laughs]. No, what inspired my biography is that the last book I wrote was really about Keith. It was about my story with Keith, how I got to Keith and kinda what happened after Keith briefly. But my story's never really been told. Everything that's happened in my life and how I got to where I am, and how I wanted to get out, how I wanted to, you know, I wanted to tell a story of survival, but also that it hasn't been easy.

You know, I came off the bus one night, and some girl was out there and go, “well, I’d look pretty too if I had somebody on the bus doing my makeup.” And I'm like, look, I do my own makeup. That is not a luxury I afford to bring an artist out here on the road with me to do my makeup and stuff. So, it's hard.

You know, guys walk out and, like, the older they get, the hotter they are. It's like, oh my God, he's got some gray here, he's weathered, he looks like the Marlboro man. And, you know, I haven't seen anybody really flip out over one of, you know, think Bette Davis is hot. So, women out there are like, get your face lift, lift your ears. You know? So, it's tough. It's tough being a woman out here and looking good when you go on stage, it’s just hard. 

(CSC) 14. Your new record, “Dead Girl Walking” will be released this spring. What’s the story behind the title, and what can you share with fans in respect to the musical journey in making this album?

(Lorrie Morgan)

We hope [laughs]. It's been coming out for about two years now. But it's called Dead Girl Walking, written by Kelly Lang who's a writer and singer in Nashville. I did two Kelly Lang songs on the album. One is “Dead Girl Walking,” which is the name of the album.

And it's been a tough album because during the middle of the album, my producer, Richard Landis passed away. It's not a fun thing losing your friends in this industry. Richard and I made my musical career. We picked all the songs, you know, from “What Part of No” to “Something In Red,” “Except For Monday” and “I Guess You Had To Be There.”

He was just a big instrumental, and instrumentally played a huge part of how I sang, how I got my voice.  So, we lost him during the middle of the album, and then we stopped. The album was just put on hold till I figured out what I wanted to do, and I decided I would produce the rest of the album by myself with my co-producer, Lawson White, who was actually the engineer on the album, and I figured out watching him, he was like this unfound producer. He was just absolutely talented and awesome. So that's how came to get him and we finished the album.

And Richard had talked, you know, talked us through, you know what his plan was with every song, you know how it's gonna be and blah blah blah. So, we knew the direction, basically, that we wanted to take the album in. It was just not having him there. You know? So, it took long. The label got impatient, you know, trying to get the label out to LA, it's on Cleopatra Records. So, it's an album of love. It's an album of a lot of regret. It's an album of a lot of happy. It's a lot of sad, it's every emotion I've ever had in one album.

(CSC) 15. The burning question that got this whole thing started!! What’s going on with the Country Music Hall of Fame and them asking (or not!) a special someone to become a member!?

(Lorrie Morgan)

Well, I don’t deserve that. I mean, I don't deserve to be a member of the Hall of Fame. Not until Jeannie Seely is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. I just don't. It’s the first I hear of it, anyway, I think it's an awesome, it's one of my dreams. It will be my final big, you know, to be recognized by this industry.

I'm gonna [starts tearing up] get sad for a second because when you get in the Hall of Fame, it's the industry and your peers and your fans recognizing you as someone who made a mark in country music.  And people like Jeannie Seeley, I don't know why in hell she's not in the Hall of Fame. I can't figure it out. Her songwriting, her being a woman, she's 80 years old. She's hot. My son still has a crush on her. He's 34, I don't know how old he is, actually. He's born in 87. So, what would that be? Around there [laughs]. And she's great. So, I don't know. 

I don't know anything about the Hall of Fame. You know, I hope they recognize me before I'm dead [laughs]. That'd be nice. It's sad that they unfortunately recognize people so many times after they're gone, and they don't get to appreciate it.

But thank God they recognized Keith Whitley a year and a half, or two years ago. And he's in there and where he's supposed to be in his forever home in the Hall of Fame. And so, we marched and marched and marched for Keith to be a member the Hall of Fame, and that was a magical night. So hopefully, someday, I'll be up on the wall with him.

(CSC) Well you deserve to be!

(LM) Thank you.

Enjoy many photos from the interview with Lorrie below and a special video greeting with Lorrie and Christian of Country Stars Central!

Be sure to check out Lorrie's official website to learn more and follow all her socials:

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Kelly Loth Scalise
Kelly Loth Scalise
Feb 22
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great interview with Lorrie Morgan!

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