LAUREN LAFFER • OCTOBER 3, 2016 - 3:15 PM
It has been a huge week for country music newcomer William Michael Morgan, who not only released his debut album, Vinyl, but also notched his first No.1 with his debut single “I Met A Girl.”
“Wow. We did it! What a dream come true,” said the crooner. “After 58 weeks of clawing and fighting and believing and trusting in our radio promo team, my management Joe Carter and Mike Taliaferro, the entire Warner Music Nashville team, country radio, the fans, my producers Jimmy Ritchey and Scott Hendricks, my family and friends for undying and unwavering support, and most importantly the good Lord above… I am proud and most importantly honored to announce my gratitude and many thanks to everyone involved in this most special moment in my life, and in my career! Here’s to this number 1and hopefully many more to come. God bless all of you. And God bless country music!”
“This song truly paves the way for William Michael and the joyful traditional sound to get back on the airwaves,” says John Esposito, Chairman and CEO of Warner Music Nashville. “This historic run proves the tenacity of artist development, which is the cornerstone of how our label rolls!”
“I Met A Girl” spent 58 weeks at radio and 49 weeks on the Mediabase/Aircheck charts, marking the longest chart run to No.1 in the chart’s history. The song was co-written by Shane McAnally, Sam Hunt and Old Dominion’s Trevor Rosen.
Fans can listen to “I Met A Girl,” along with more of William Michael Morgan’s new songs, on his debut album Vinyl. Pick up your copy on iTunes HERE.
William Michael Morgan brings traditional country music back to radio
Cindy Watts , firstname.lastname@example.org 6:41 p.m. CDT September 30, 2016
William Michael Morgan is poised to meet the top of the country radio airplay charts in October for the first time with his debut single “I Met a Girl.” Written by Sam Hunt, Trevor Rosen of Old Dominion, and Shane McAnally, “I Met a Girl” is from Morgan’s first album, “Vinyl,” that was released to stores Friday.
“Thank the good Lord and country radio,” Morgan said of his success. “This last year has been upside down, flipped up and crispy on the edges. It’s been a whirlwind in a good way.”
“I Met a Girl” was released in August of 2015 and Morgan said its perseverance “shows the strength of a good song.”
“I don’t say that in any way conceited,” explained the Mississippi native. “But it does show the strength of a good song, a good promotions team and a good lyric.”
Morgan first heard “I Met a Girl” on Hunt’s “Between the Pines (Acoustic Mixtape)” and fell in love with the song.
“I get it because it happened to me,” Morgan said. “I literally just saw the whole picture of it when I first heard it. I saw the girl crossing the street, biting her lip, fixing her dress, I saw the whole image of that girl. I’ve said this before, but it’s holding the girls on high in a time where we are telling them to scoot on over and hand me a cold beer. I kind of fell in love with it for that reason, too. When we cut it, magic happened
RARE COUNTRY September 30, 2016 8:04 am
Country music is alive and well in this rising star
It’s an ongoing and weary debate — the current state of country music. Where fiddle, steel guitar and mandolin were once the solid foundation of a country song, drum loops, wicky-wicky guitars and urban-influenced grooves now dominate the radio waves. Stetsons have been replaced by flat bills, and cowboy boots have been replaced by high tops. And artists look a whole lot more like the Backstreet Boys and Gwen Stefani than George Strait and Patty Loveless.
It is heavily debated, which is right and which is wrong, but the only thing that everyone can agree on is that it is definitely different.
Lately, though, the wind is shifting again. Those long absent fiddles, steels, mandos and banjos are finding their way onto tracks and entire albums from new artists, and longtime country fans are refreshed. But, you know what? Some of those country fans that have latched onto artists like Sam Hunt are also enjoying the new look at old sounds, thanks to artists like newcomer William Michael Morgan.
This handsome, young country singer has no problem with what he hears on country radio today, it just isn’t what he does. “It’s just a matter of that’s where my heart lies, is real tradition country,” he explains to Rare Country. “I listened to R. Kelly, Usher and Snoop Dogg, but I’m not going to put that in my music. It’s not me as an artist. I appreciate them as artists, but that’s not me. Hell, I couldn’t rap to save my life.”
Snoop Dogg? Really? The 23-year-old grins and says, “I listened to everything. I listened to all that bumpin’ shit. Frank Sinatra is one of my favorites also. I grew up in the time of Green Day and Nirvana, and I love that music. I love good music. But also, I think that’s why there are genres. Sometimes you want to listen to that, sometimes you want to listen to this.”
“This” would be the kind of music that William Michael/Will/Willie would be writing and recording, the kind of music he sought ought as a youngster.
“Being a kid in the ’90s, I was born in ’93, what was going on at that time was Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Lawrence and Tracy Byrd. George Strait was still rocking and kicking. That’s the kind of music that I was listening to growing up. Once I got old enough to start using a computer a little bit, I just started looking up those songs that I loved. And there was a little bitty ‘recommended’ bar on the side that said ‘Merle Haggard’ so I clicked on that. Then I’d see another one and it would say ‘Merle Haggard and George Jones, ‘Yesterday’s Wine’ so I clicked on that. From there it would be Gary Stewart and just on and on and on, Johnny Paycheck and David Allan Coe. I got sucked in and I was not getting out.”
As traditional as William sounds, he isn’t hellbent on a crusade to change things, he just wants to be part of them. “My plans aren’t to change anything,” he says with conviction. “Me and Jon Pardi and Mo Pitney, I can’t speak for them, but for me, I’m not planning on changing it. Something has to be broke to fix it. Nothing’s broke. It’s the same message with a different way of saying it. It’s all country music. That being so left at the moment, and I don’t mean left in a bad way, but the people that are coming in that are to the right of center, are just being noticed because it’s different. Same as when the left came along. It’s ever-changing.”
While Will’s debut album, “Vinyl,” doesn’t utilize a lot of contemporary country sounds, that doesn’t mean that every track sounds like the other. “Something to Drink About” has got a definite edge to it, “Beer Drinker” is a fun romp, “Cheap Cologne” is a two-steppin’ dream, “I Know Who He Is” is heartbreakingly poignant and his hit single, “I Met a Girl,” is lush, melodic and dreamy.
In spite of the cowboy hat and boots, the pearl snaps and even the Texas emblem on his guitar strap, Will is actually from Mississippi, but he doesn’t mind that almost everyone asks him if he hails from the Lone Star State. “I think that the best country music has come from Texas,” he says smiling. “Willie Nelson, David Allan Coe, George Strait, George Jones, Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Byrd, the people that I base myself around come from Texas. I love Texas. I love Texas women, too!”
And Texas artists like Aaron Watson and Randy Rogers have taken Will under their wings, having him open for them in both Tennessee and Texas.
Having his first country album isn’t the only thing that is new for William. He welcomed a new baby girl earlier this year and it has changed everything. “It changed how I call my parents, it changed how I look at them, it changed my business outlook, it changed my personal outlook, especially. I’ve never been closer to God. I’ve never felt this way before in my whole life. I don’t know if it’s part of growing up or if it’s just me finding my way finally, but I’ve never felt so great in my whole life.”
At 6-foot-3, handsome and lethally charming, the future looks brilliant for this talented man, especially as he hits the road with Lee Brice and Justin Moore on the American Made Tour. And for that, he only needs two things — “a steel guitar and a cold beer.”
“Vinyl,” featuring his hit “I Met a Girl,” is available in stores and online Sept. 30.