Hello everyone. I am pleased to provide another interview with a talented local musician whose name is Doug Morgan. He has just released a new Gospel CD entitled “One Day Closer Home”. Before we continue the interview please click on the video link below to hear a sample of his singing, producing and mixing skills. He did a great job!
Doug’s New CD Promo Video Help support our locals.
BB: Introduction – Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Doug: I was born in Ammons, KY, a backwoods community, at a time when we had no electricity, no roads, no doctors and wonderful country neighbors. One of our neighbors rode a horse by a trail to a nearby town and got mail for the entire community once a week. We listened to the Grand Ole Opry on a battery powered radio, lights from Coal Oil lamps, at the Ammons Country Store on Saturday nights after Prayer Meeting. That was my first exposure to Country/Bluegrass music. I developed a love for it then and have never developed a great appreciation for any other genre of music except Gospel Songs, Hymns of course sung and played in the Country or Southern Gospel style.
BB: When did you get started in your musical journey? Doug: When I reached the age of about 8 years old I wanted a guitar so bad. We had roads by then and got mail every day. My dad ordered a guitar from Sears and Roebuck. I imagine it cost about 5 dollars then. Wasn’t much but I wish I still had it. After that I began to try to play Hymns and old tunes we sang in the community. I forgot to mention that in that guitar from Sears came a booklet with guitar chords in it. I would make chords and try to fit them to tunes and after a few months began to be able to play simple three chord songs.
BB: What happened after that? Doug: I began to sing and play at church, though I’d hate to hear what it sounded like. Then in high school I began to play with other guys. I would enter talent contests at county fairs etc. Played on a local radio station with a group some.
BB: Where did you go from there? Doug: I joined the Air Force in 1960. While in San Antonio, TX, I walked into the Airman’s Club one night and was homesick, depressed and lonesome. I sat down at a table and one of the Airmen in the place must have looked around and saw lots of guys who looked down like me and yelled, what is this, a house of blue lovers tonight? Bingo, it turned my depression into an idea for a song. House Of Blue Lovers was a song written by me, sold to a DJ in San Antonio whose name was Charlie Walker. James O’Guin recorded it and it became a semi-hit; I think it was 1961. Then I wrote several songs but one was recorded by Claude Gray on the back side of his big hit, “I’ll Just Have a Cup of Coffee Then I’ll Go.” My song was “I Just Want to Be Alone.” Of course I sold it to a guy named Dan Breeland who I met in Washington, DC while stationed there in the Air Force.
BB: What happened next? Doug: While in the AF I won the AF World Wide Talent Contest in the Country Category. I also played in Jimmy Dean’s band, The Texas Wildcats for about a year while stationed at Andrews AFB. We played at a place called the Senate Inn, in Marlboro, Maryland, a suburb of DC. My claim to fame is I played lead guitar on a 45 RPM single that Jimmy recorded. The two songs were “Blue Diamonds” and “False Pride.”
BB: How did you get into Bluegrass/Old Time/Other Music? Doug: In all honesty, I don’t consider myself a Bluegrass musician even though I love it. I guess you could say that a friend named Bill Barker got me started going to the Bluegrass jams.
BB: What is your favorite Bluegrass Band or Artist? and who influenced you the most? Doug: My all-time favorite singer is Jim Reeves. My second all-time favorite is Ray Price (who just passed away at age 87). There has never been nor ever will be, anyone in the same category with Jim Reeves. Chet Atkins said, “When Jim Reeves sings a song, it’s been sung.”
BB: How many songs have you written? Doug: Several
BB: What advice would you give to young people wanting to get started in Bluegrass? Doug: Practice, practice, learn from others, get as good as you can but always have fun doing it.
BB: Anything else you want to say to wrap up this interview? Doug: I have to acknowledge Jesus my Savior and Lord. This CD is to honor and glorify Him. I have tried to record songs that we used to sing about going to heaven and looking forward to the time when we get to see Him face to face. The title of the CD reflects what I consider with my time left on earth. As the song says, “I’m not getting older I’m just one day closer home.”
BB: Thanks for reading this interview. If you see Doug at one of our jams, stop by and say hello. I know he would appreciate any feedback on his new Gospel CD.