On the eighth installment of “The Road You Leave Behind,” Outsider’s own Marty Smith sat down to speak with Craig Morgan in an exclusive, all-encompassing interview. Like many country music stars, Morgan’s path to fame started from humble beginnings. The “Redneck Yacht Club” singer is the definition of a blue-collar worker, which didn’t change once he found musical success.
Morgan joined the United States Army as a young man where he served our country for almost 17 years. Upon his return home to Tennessee, Morgan worked multiple jobs to support his family. Jobs including working in construction and being an employee at Wal-Mart. Yet his hard work and determination to make it in the music industry prevailed. At 36 years old, Morgan’s self-titled debut album released. 17 Billboard-charted singles later, and Morgan’s unlikely path to the top of country music is inspiring to say the least.
During their talk, Morgan opened up about all aspects of his life. He touched on his early life outside of Nashville, his days in the Army, and his rise to country music stardom. However, he also spoke candidly when he shared about the tragic death of his teenage son in 2016. His son, Jerry Greer, passed in an accidental drowning at the Kentucky Lake in Tennessee. Morgan kindly let us into his life and pulled back the curtain on the ups and downs of a truly unique country music career.
A Country Music Career Earned and Recognized
Even after he found success in the music industry, Craig Morgan continued to support our nation’s troops. He often performs at military bases in the States and abroad, and on USO tours. The singer-songwriter also penned one of his most popular songs, “Sippin’ on the Simple Life,” with two active-duty Army Rangers. In addition, he was rewarded with the 2006 USO Merit Award. Morgan received the honor for his efforts with and around the military and their families.
Morgan’s prolific country music career culminated in 2008 while back in his old training grounds at Fort Bragg. While filming an event at the Fayetteville, North Carolina base in September 2008, Morgan received news that every country singer dreams of. Craig Morgan received an invitation to become a Grand Ole Opry member.
For a kid that grew up around the country music business but didn’t want to be a part of it, Morgan exceeded his wildest expectations. His winding path to country fame and fortune was an unexpected journey. However, without his experiences growing up outside of Nashville and his years in the military, we may never have been graced with his extensive catalog of country music hits.
Sometimes you never know if “The Road You Leave Behind” is the correct one. In the case of Craig Morgan, he stayed true to himself, his family, his maker and his country. And by doing so, success eventually followed. On the road he will continue to leave behind, Morgan plans to continue blazing the trail that got him to where he is today.