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Craig Morgan Talks New Single, Becoming an Actor and Giving Back to Charity

Craig Morgan
Rick Diamond, Getty Images for Country Thunder

To quote from the title song of Craig Morgan’s current album, “This ole boy got it going on.” The energetic singer/songwriter, television host, outdoorsman and philanthropist is extremely busy with the release of a new single, ‘Corn Star,’ from his current album, ‘This Ole Boy.’

The third season of his reality TV show ‘‘Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors‘ premiered Sunday, July 1 on the Outdoor Channel, and Morgan is forever busy touring, filming other TV appearances, working tirelessly for charity and generally trying to make the world a better place because Craig Morgan is in it.

Taste of Country caught up with Morgan recently to chat about ‘Corn Star,’ his upcoming gig on ‘Rizzoli & Isles,’ and whether he’d consider running for public office.

ToC: Tell us about ‘Corn Star.’ What’s the thinking behind it being the new single?

Craig Morgan: Well, the time of year had a whole lot to do with it. That and the fact that I felt like it was a hit song. You know, a lot of people try to figure out what song they’re going to release at what time of the year, and I think that does have some play. But for me, it was really — and always has been — whether or not I felt like it was a hit song, and something that radio could play, and a song that I think might encourage people to buy the record. And I felt like this song would probably do that better than anything on the record.

It’s just a little bit different than some of your other stuff.

Yeah, a little bit. It’s a little tongue-in-cheek. But if you look back at the history, there’s stuff I’ve had like ‘Redneck Yacht Club’ and ‘International Harvester’ . . . I’ve had hits that were very similar, and that was another reason, when I heard it, I felt like it was very similar to some of the stuff. As different as it was, it had a lot of similar characteristics to some of the hits I’ve had.

You’ve got the upcoming season of ‘All Access Outdoors’ coming up as well. You’ve got a lot going on.

Yeah, we’re busy. That may be my understatement of the day [Laughs]. It’s good to be busy, and the show, doing a third season is a good thing. We actually agreed to a fourth season as well.

They moved me into primetime. They moved me to Sunday nights, so we’re excited to be doing that. Anything I can do, anytime I can do things that’s going to bring more attention to the music, and my music in particular, I want to try and take advantage of that and do it.

Your ‘Army Wives‘ appearance has already aired. Have you actually filmed ‘Rizzoli & Isles,’ or is that still up in the air?

I filmed it, yeah. We got it done – the one episode, anyway. And it went well. It was a lot of fun. (Note: Morgan’s appearance will air on Tuesday, July 17 at 9PM ET on TNT).

Is that something you’d like to do more of  — TV that’s actually acting, maybe expand into movies?

Yeah, we’re actually pursuing some other opportunities. I enjoy it, it’s fun, and again, it brings more attention to the music. Even though I’m not playing myself — it’s a character role — we still get the image awareness out there.

What’s your take on other types of reality TV? Yours is a specific focus that lets you be yourself. Would you want to do something like ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ or ‘Dancing With the Stars?’

Absolutely. The ‘Dancing With the Stars’ thing is something we’ve talked about. As long as it’s done tastefully, and I think they do a good job, those two shows in particular you mentioned. There’s a lot of reality stuff out there that I probably wouldn’t do. But it’s a case-by-case kind of deal.

I’m more excited about the scripted, you know, the role stuff.

Did you have to go and acquire a new skill set to act in a scripted role?

No, I just focused on the skills that I already have that are in line with that type of a role. Matter of fact, I jokingly told them that I’ve been acting like a singer for twelve years [laughs].

You’ve got the Craig Morgan Sixth Annual Charity Weekend coming up. How did that first come about? That’s your charity, as opposed to a charity where you are just a figurehead.

We actually started doing a charity event about eight years ago, and then six years ago my wife and I decided that we wanted to focus our energies and our funds, and the monies that we raised, to something real specific, and that was Billy’s Place, a home that we want to develop for children who’ve been temporarily displaced from their families. We’ve seen the need early on in our lives for that, and especially in our own community. And we always said that if we were given the opportunity and we did well enough, we always wanted to do something like that. So here we are.

You’re actually trying to have a home built for the kids in Dickson, Tenn. How far out are you from that?

I think we may be a year or two from building it. There’s a lot of work that has to be done before we even build. Once the home is finished, we’ll have all of the logistics taken care of, and the finances taken care of, so that we can immediately start taking care of the kids.

And actually what we’re looking at now, until we get the home built we’re looking at purchasing some property and an existing home so that we can go ahead and start meeting the need now.

You’ve talked before about how important your home community is to you. As involved as you are, when you’re done touring, could you ever foresee running for office in your local community?

If I thought I could do it and it was going to be beneficial to the community and to my family, yeah. Otherwise, I don’t know. I’m not gonna do it because I want to be a politician or because I want to be anything other than doing something that would be good for the community and, like I said, my family as well.

If you were going to pick the next single right now, what would you go for, just right from your gut?

After ‘Corn Star?’ A song called ‘Love Loves a Long Night.’ That’s one of my favorites on the record.

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