MOUNT VERNON — A warm welcome from the 2018 Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival includes the headline performance of country music star Lorrie Morgan. The concert will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11, at 9:30 p.m. on Public Square, Mount Vernon.
Morgan has been around great songs all her life. She is a Nashville native who is the daughter of Country Music Hall of Fame member George Morgan. She made her debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage at age 13, singing “Paper Roses.”
Her father died suddenly of a heart attack at age 51. She was 16 at the time and just beginning her musical career. She began making records shortly thereafter and was honored with induction into the Opry cast when she was just 24.
Morgan married fellow country singer Keith Whitley in 1986. She was signed to RCA Records in 1987, and her onslaught of hits began the following year. Whitley’s tragic death of an alcohol overdose in 1989 left her a widowed working mother. Their duet “Til a Tear Becomes a Rose” earned her a 1990 CMA award.
Her first three albums, Leave the Light On (1989), Something in Red (1991) and Watch Me (1992), all earned Platinum Record awards. Her Greatest Hits collection (1999) is also Platinum. War Paint (1994), Greater Need (1996) and Shakin’ Things Up (1997) are all Gold Record winners.
She sang “The Sad Café” on Common Threads: Songs of the Eagles, which was named the CMA Album of the Year in 1994. Country fans voted Lorrie Morgan their TNN/Music City News Female Vocalist of the Year in 1994, 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Morgan maintained her recording pace in the new millennium, releasing collections in 2002, 2004, 2009 and 2010. In 2012 and 2013, Morgan starred in the lavish Enchanted Christmas productions at the Opryland Resort in Nashville. She took that show on the road in 2014.
In 2013, she teamed with fellow Opry star Pam Tillis for the duet CD Dos Divas. The two hit makers then embarked on a two-year joint tour that sold out every appearance.
“We had a blast,” said Morgan with a chuckle. “It wasn’t until the Grits & Glamor tour that we really connected. We connected as working mothers, as businesswomen, as second-generation performers.” Pam is the daughter of Country Music Hall of Fame member Mel Tillis, who co-wrote “Strange” on Morgan’s new CD. Both women also share a finely-honed sense of humor.
“I pride myself on my humor. My dad used to say, ‘You should never take yourself too seriously,’ and I got my sense of humor from my dad. I love to have fun. I’ve reached the age where I feel that I deserve good company around me, people who can make me laugh, who love music and who love to have a good time.
“On the outside, I’m very lighthearted. But on the inside, I have a lot of pain that I deal with. Singing is my therapy, and that is what this album is all about. ‘Lonely Whiskey’ says it all. Like I said, I’m at the point where I’m not afraid to sing about what I want to sing and to be creative. And this record gave me that chance.
“I didn’t want to record just another nice little album that gets put away on a shelf. I wanted to record a Grammy Award winning album. That was my goal.
“But no matter what happens, I think these recording sessions were just magical. It was the most fun I’ve ever had doing an album.”
Reserved seating for the Lorrie Morgan performance is available. The Friend of the Festival reserved area is preferred, up close seating, available on a first come first serve basis and there is a cost. Friend of the Festival Tickets will be available starting June 1 at www.DanEmmettFestival.org or by calling the Knox County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 740-392-3378 or Toll Free at 1-800-837-5282. A
Space for bring-your-own-chair seating is available behind the reserved seating at no charge.
The 2018 Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival runs Aug. 9-12.