ELDON — Craig Morgan is working his way to Eldon.
The country music star has two more performances before he hits the grandstand at the Wapello County Fair Friday night.
“I like that part of the country. I got some friends that live that way, so I’m excited to see them and put on a show,” Morgan said.
But Morgan is more than a musician. He served in the Army from 1985 to 2004 with around 11 years of active duty and 6.5 years active reserve time, serving in the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions.
“I loved serving. I miss it,” Morgan said.
He doesn’t feel that his experience plays into his music. “I think it plays more into my life, and that plays into my music and performance,” he said. “The things you learn in the military assist you in your future life, whatever those endeavors may be. I think I have a great deal of appreciation for my job and what it is because of what I have done.”
Now that he’s out of the military, he finds his own way to help soldiers with his involvement with the USO.
“We just got back from the fourth or fifth tour around the world with the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” he said, adding that he’s been to the Middle East nearly 15 times as an entertainer. “It’s a big part of my life. Now I’m just doing my best to help the ones that are serving.”
Morgan is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. “It’s the mother church of country music and epitomizes what our format is about — the purity, people and fans of our format,” he said. “It’s truly iconic in our genre of music, and to be a member of that is very humbling and special.”
But Morgan’s work doesn’t stop there. He has a family business in his hometown that he creates items for and also sells honey from their beehives.
He also has a television show, “Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors,” that’s ran eight seasons on the Outdoor Channel. And, he’s partnered with Lot18.com to produce a limited-edition Cabernet Sauvignon, Old Tattoo.
“That’s the understatement of your life, that I have a lot going on,” Morgan said. “I don’t like to be bored. That’s why I do all that other stuff.”
At the core, though, he’s a musician and entertainer.
“I’m a great performer. I love watching the affect we can have on people with their lives and attitudes. Our music can have a great effect on people, and I love it.”
Those attending Friday’s performance in Eldon can expect a lot. “We’re going to play all of the hits, a least most of them,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of hits, so we don’t always get to them all.”
He said they can also expect a lot of fun, energy and new songs. He said his show has a few bells and whistles as well. “People seem to like that stuff, but I’d prefer to sit there with my guitar and sing.”
And, his music is for the whole family, perfect for a county fair. He says his fans range in age from age 8 to 80. “I’ll see an 8-year-old singing a song that was a hit before he was born, and it blows my mind, but it’s also exciting,” he said.
Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.