ASCAP Salutes Singer, Writers of “Redneck Yacht Club”

Craig Morgan Reveals Iraq Tour, Discusses New Album

ASCAP paid tribute to Craig Morgan and the co-writers of his most recent No. 1 hit, “Redneck Yacht Club,” Monday (Nov. 21) with a party at the performance rights organization’s Nashville headquarters. The co-writers are Thom Shepherd and Steve Williams.

At a press conference held before the party, Morgan announced that the third single from his current album, My Kind of Livin’, will be “I Got You” and that it is set for release on Dec. 5. He co-wrote the song with Phil O’Donnell and Tim Owens.

Morgan also revealed that he will be performing in Iraq over the Christmas holidays although he would not give the specific dates or stops on that trip.

On the topic of “Redneck Yacht Club” going No. 1, Morgan remarked, “This was gratifying because we got to No. 1, and there were a couple of [major radio] stations that never played it. That says a lot about it.” (Although the song reached No. 1 on the Radio & Records chart, it peaked at No. 2 in Billboard.)

Morgan said he co-wrote “I Got You” while he was on tour with Keith Urban and initially planned to pitch it to Urban. But then, after he went into the studio and demoed the song, he liked it so much he decided to keep it for himself.

Asked how many more singles would be coming from My Kind of Livin’, Morgan speculated there could be “two or three.” He said he has picked “about half” the songs for his next album.

“I had a great time in New York,” Morgan enthused, alluding to his performance there just prior to the CMA Awards show. “If you act normal, it’s fine. … It’s not a zoo. You don’t go there and stare at people — [although] there’s some worth staring at. … The people [there] are in a hurry. I like that. I am, too.”

While Morgan records for Broken Bow Records, a relatively small independent label, he said he didn’t look at it that way. “We don’t see ourselves as a little bitty label. Truth is, we’ve got as big a promotion department as some of the big labels.”

Despite the growing political controversy, the singer, who’s an Army veteran, still sounded hawkish about the war in Iraq. He maintained that if the U. S. wasn’t fighting its enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would be doing so at home. Even as he praised Americans’ right to speak freely, he warned, “I do think we should be careful of what we say. One reason is the security of this country.” He later observed that while country music doesn’t always support a particular war, it always does support the country.

During the celebration itself, Ed Benson, executive director of the Country Music Association, presented Shepherd and Williams their first No. 1 song certificates. “It’s so important to the health of our industry,” he said, “to encourage the successes of Broken Bow Records and other independents.”

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.