Chad Morgan’s unique style has served him well for over 50 years in the business of making people laugh. After all this time the Country Music legend is still going strong, sense of humour and down-to-earth attitude intact.
Morgan born on 11th feb 1933 first recorded the unconventional love song, ‘The Sheik From Scrubby Creek’ back in 1952 at the raw age of 19. Memories of his first performance are etched on his frontal lobes. “I remember it very well. I was so scared…I was dead pan. I wasn’t game to smile or move a facial muscle or do a thing.” But it didn’t take long for the nerves to wear off and when they did the Kingaroy-born Morgan discovered he was a natural performer. “The second time I was singing and I was doing the 'Shotgun Wedding' which goes, ‘Oooh ouch’. I had a cut on the end of my finger that I play the guitar with. Just as I hit a cord the string went into the cut and I went,’Oooh ouch’ before I even thought halfway through the song. Every body laughed and I thought, ‘This is alright, I could carry on with this.’ So I did.”
And carrying on is what Morgan’s still doing. While the hellraising days of alcohol-fuelled larrikanism and broken marriages might be behind him, at 70 he’s on the road more often than not. Morgan's just finished at a waterlogged Tamworth where he launched yet another new album, the aptly titled There’s Life in the Old Dog Yet. Then it’s on to a tour of the southern states before a welcome return to his place at Bli Bli. “When I turned 65 I was going to take it slower but I’m working harder than I ever bloody worked.” Morgan says it’s the simple need to put food on the table as much as a love of music that keeps him working. And while he’s grateful to receive an OAM in this year’s Australia Day celebrations, he says the medal goes little way towards the former objective. “It’s a great honour but that’s about all. I can’t eat it but it is a great honour.” So what does he think about the prospect of having ‘Chad Morgan OAM’ engraved on his headstone? “I might as well make the most of it, eh?”
Morgan has lost count of how many albums there’s been since '52. “I wouldn’t have a clue now.” Comparisons to Slim Dusty’s mammoth total of 100 are waved away. “I wouldn’t be anywhere near that. Slim was whacking ‘em out one and two a year whereas I usually wait two or three years and give people a chance to buy them because you can’t buy all the albums you want in one hit. So I just leave it for a while and then I whack one out.”
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