Craig Morgan has been one heck of a busy guy lately. After releasing his first album in what he admits is “quite a while,” he says that he is genuinely shocked by how well “This Ole Boy” has performed on the charts. The always entertaining Craig called us this morning for a surprisingly serious interview on his career, his newest single “Corn Star,” supporting the military, meeting Conan O’Brien, and why he may be taking a break from singing.
See what pop song Craig told us he will be recording for his next album, a special birthday message for Blake Shelton, and what he’s thinking of taking on permanently besides singing in our exclusive interview with Craig:
Your new album “This Ole Boy” had a pretty big debut for you on the chart. Were you surprised with its early success?
Yes, I was because it had been a while since I had an album out. I didn’t know really what to expect. I was a little surprised! The fans have been amazing, and it’s been a huge hit for us. It’s hard to tell people because you want it to do well, but to say you expect it to do well is wrong (laughs) I never expect things to go well, I wanted it to go well. The response for the album and that single especially has been so nice, it’s been so good.
I’ve been doing this a while and I keep waiting for it to be over. And then things like this happen (laughs), so it’s pretty dang remarkable and amazing.
Hey now, you shouldn’t be wondering about the end of your career.
Yeah, I know, that’s what everybody says but I’ve been doing this a long time and it’s just… normally, people don’t get to have a career this long in this business. Very few have a career that lasts this long and I just feel really blessed and grateful.
What was it about “Corn Star” that made you want to record it, and is there a funny story behind picking it?
No funny stories this time. A friend of mine is a writer, Shane Minor, and I heard it and just thought it was a hit. We had a lot of luck with a song called “International Harvester” and I thought that this song was a lot in the same vein, and something that a lot of people would enjoy. It’s a fun song, and kind of a backwoods tribute to the country girls.
You’re a pretty big Conan O’Brien fan, so what was it like getting to be on-set with him?
He is awesome! He’s a super nice guy, and he’s funnier off-camera than he is on-camera, I’ll tell you that.
The new season of your show Craig Morgan All-Access Outdoors is coming up, so what can fans expect from the new season?
You can pretty much expect the same things from the previous seasons. A lot of the same concepts, it’s the same concept as before but a lot of new places – we had a trip to Hawaii and some of that stuff is just over-the-top imagery and a lot of fun. There’s a few surprises but I’m not gonna give away any of them right now, (laughs), but there’s a lot of cool stuff. There’s a few special guests.
The last time I saw you was when you opened up for Carrie Underwood, and you made a little joke against Blake Shelton in your set. Since it’s Blake’s birthday today, do you have a message for him?
I’m proud of Blake. He’s a good friend and I still can’t believe Miranda went through with the marriage, that’s still surprising to me to this date, how did he do it? (laughs). But I’m proud of him and I love him to death.
If you could tour with any artist, past or present, who would you choose?
Hmm! I don’t know… past maybe Hank Williams Sr.? That would have been cool, or Gene Watson for past. Present? I don’t know (laughs) I really don’t know. There’s so many people that I….. Reba! I’ve always been a fan of Reba’s and we’ve done a few shows in the past, but I’d love to do a whole tour with her. Toby Keith maybe! I enjoy Toby quite a bit and he’s done a bunch for our military, and I’ve a new gained respect for him as well. I’d love to work with him.
There’s been a lot of great talent added to the Opry over the last few years, as a Member, is there anyone that you really want to see added next?
I don’t know, I know there’s a lot of new artists that are coming out that I think will do well. This is one of those things where you have to wait and see how they act when they get a little bit of success underneath them. That’s what’s important. The Opry represents a sense of humility and gratefulness that we want to see carried forward and the acts are the people that do that, the artists are the people that do that.
You’ve done a little bit of acting over the last year, is this something you’d want to start doing permanently?
Oh absolutely, I love it. I don’t know if I’d ever do it over my music if I had to make a choice, but I definitely want to to more of it… as long as I can do it and the music then I’d do it. I might even take a little break from touring – not a big break! I said a little break, so 4 to 5 days (laughs), just to do more acting. I love it, it’s just so much fun.
Is there a song on the radio right now that you wish you wrote?
Yes! There’s a song that’s not a country song, it’s a pop song.. let me think of this, I’ll figure out the name because this is a good song, a really good song… (singing) “I won’t give up on us, even if the skies get rough, I’ll give you all of my love, I’m still looking up.” It’s a huge song and I’ll probably record it on my next record, a country version of that song.[NOTE: The song is Jason Mraz' "I Won't Give Up" ]
Is there a special message you want your fans to have?
I’m so grateful and thankful for their support and hope they enjoy watching my show this year.
Catch season three of Craig Morgan’s All Access Outdoors when it premieres on July 1st, 2012 on The Outdoor Channel. Craig’s latest single “Corn Star” from his album “This Ole Boy” is out at radio right now, so make sure you request it!