Country music has had its share of crooners through the years, among them guys like Jim Reeves, Ray Price, Roy Drusky, and a host of others. In almost every case they started as traditional country singers and later transitioned to a softer, more mainstream style. But that wasn’t the case with George Morgan, who seemed to be headed in that direction right from the beginning. In fact, his debut recording — “Candy Kisses” — which topped the charts in 1949, was just the first of a long line of smooth hit records that made him one of the most popular country crooners around.
Morgan was Tennessee-born but grew up in Ohio, and he began finding some career success during the post-war years. Always conservatively dressed and sporting a sober persona, he nevertheless came up through the country music establishment of the era, finding high profile spots on the Grand Ole Opry and other shows.
A talented songwriter too. he chose one of his own songs when making his first entry into the record business, and “Candy Kisses” proved to be a good move as it rose up the charts to the #1 position. It would be just the first of many good-selling records for the singer over the next two decades, including a number of Top Ten hits. Some of his biggest included “Almost” and “I’m In Love Again,” and he also had a series of hits revolving around roses.
As the years passed he continued to appear regularly on the Grand Ole Opry. In fact, when the show moved from the old Ryman Auditorium to a new facility in 1974 he was the last to appear on the old stage and the first to appear on the new one. Unfortunately his health was deteriorating and he died from heart failure the following year at the too-young age of 51, leaving behind a strong legacy of music, and a teenage daughter – Lorrie Morgan – who would soon become a country music star too.
George Morgan – “Candy Kisses”