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As the youngest singer ever to join the Grand Ole Opry, country music has always been a huge part of Lorrie Morgan's life. But the 'Something in Red' performer went five years without releasing a single solo album--until 2016. She opened up to WomansWorld.com about her new album 'Letting You Go... Slow,' and the exhilarating experience of recording and touring again.
I’m not sure why it felt like the right time to release my album. I can tell you why it felt like the wrong time for all the many years I didn’t do it, which is I wasn’t happy with the music I was hearing. Everything was too surface-y for me. There was no deepness to the songs.
They’re singing about a God-dang truck. And girls in short shorts. What happened to "Good Year for the Roses" and "I’ll Be Over You When the Grass Grows Over Me?" Who’s writing good country music right now? I don’t know. But I can’t listen to modern country radio. I hate it. Everything I hear is beer drinking, yee-haw in the backseat of the truck. That’s not what I grew up loving.
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For a while, I was bored with my music. And I never wanted to reach that point. So making Letting You Go… Slow and doing A Picture of Me: Greatest Hits has been a real blessing in my life, because I’m excited. It’s like anything else. If you had to write the same story every day about a tree, you’d probably get pretty bored. You gotta find things that keep you excited about your music.
And I wanted to give my fans something special, something that they knew when I put it out was full of songs that I had been wanting to record, some of them, for 20 years. I finally hooked back up with my great producer Richard Landon and said, "Richard, I don’t want to just go in and make another album. I want to go in and make something that has our mark on it."
I believe this one is different because it’s all songs that me and my producer had total creative control over. We did it right there in downtown Nashville. We picked every song. We changed them at the last minute. We did not record for radio. We recorded for the love of music. And we had a blast.
Everything I record has a meaning behind it. Nothing is general to me. I can’t just record a song because it’s cute. I have to relate to the song, to the situation, and to the music. Like "Letting You Go Slow." My daughter-in-law wrote it, but when I heard it, I said, "I want that song, please!"
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One verse of the song is, "I’m taking down your memories one frame at a time." You’re probably thinking about each picture of what your life would've been. Instead of just taking a broom and knocking them all off the wall at once, you’re doing it slow. Because maybe letting it go fast, cutting people out of your life, is too quick, too much for you. So if you go slow, it slows your emotions down, or maybe even keeps them hanging on.
It’s a beautiful love song about getting out of a relationship, but because you’re brokenhearted, you’re doing it slow. I think the divorce with Sammy Kershaw, [my singer-husband from 2001 to 2007], was the hardest one to sever. And I’ve learned that every heartbreak, every breakup, whatever relationship you’re in, as a singer, songs take you back there and they bring out the emotions of that relationship. I can definitely relate to that song. You have to believe in what you sing or you’re not believable. That’s why I loved this song so much.
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I don’t ever want to be dictated to again as to what song I’m singing--or how I act, what I say, what I wear. I’m 56 years old. I can make my own choices on things, and I feel like I’m in a better place in my career now that I don’t answer to anybody. I wasn't under the gun to get the album done. I wasn’t having to answer to the president of a record label. So I felt like I could sing again. For a while, though, I doubted. "Maybe I can’t sing anymore. Maybe I don’t want to go in and record." But once I got behind the microphone and my heart lit up and Richard Landon’s face lit up, everybody was just elated. I just felt like a weight had been lifted off. And it’s given us all some new life.
I’m still here. And I’m gonna record the songs I feel that my fans want to hear and that’s what I intend to do as long as I’m recording.