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Charismatic Morgan highlights show at Capitol

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Country music fans got what they wanted - and more - this holiday season as songstress Lorrie Morgan brought her "Enchanted Christmas" to the Capitol Theatre in Lebanon.

The venue was packed for Sunday's matinee show - and to the delight of her audience, the uber-talented Morgan did not disappoint.

Looking radiant in an icy white evening gown, Morgan opened the surprise-filled show with one of her hits, "Something In Red," before transitioning into country ballads such as "Picture of Me (Without You)," and of course, Christmas favorites.

Morgan, although a household name, introduced herself to the crowd. She spoke about growing up as the daughter of country music great George Morgan. Morgan remembered accompanying her dad to the Grand Old Opry as a young girl - and dreaming that someday she would take center stage to sing her own songs.

Morgan's dream came true - when at the age of 24 - she was the youngest person ever to become a member of the Grand Old Opry.

"It truly is the greatest highlight of my career," she said. "There have been many highlights in my career, things I never even dreamed about."

One of those highlights was recording a Christmas album, "Merry Christmas from London," with some of her idols, including Tammy Wynette and Johnny Mathis.

Morgan called Mathis a "wonderful, wonderful gentleman" and recounted how they recorded one of her father's songs, "Blue Snowfall" for the album.

"He said, 'Lorrie, I hope I can do this song half the justice. Your father was just perfect on this record,'" Morgan said before performing "Blue Snowfall." Mathis' part of the duet was played via technology.

The intimate performance not only provided musical entertainment, but gave the audience a peek into Morgan's life as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, and devoted "Gigi."

To sing "Christmas at Our House," which she penned for her daughter, Morgan, and son, Jesse Keith Whitley, Morgan invited two of her six grandchildren to the stage - grandsons, Tuff and Preston. The adorable boys answered some questions about Santa Claus before Morgan serenaded them. The audience had a few laughs when one of the boys unabashedly picked his nose while on stage.

Morgan, an avid animal lover and supporter of New Leash on Life, also introduced one of her fur-babies, dog Abby, to the crowd. Morgan said that Abby was recently groomed at Houndstooth and wanted to show off her new look.

Perhaps one of the most heart-warming moments of the concert occurred when Morgan was joined onstage by her great-nephew, Hunter.

Morgan explained that it is rare for so many of her family members to make it to a show. As a special treat, she wanted to sing Hunter a song.

Once the two were seated on the bench, Morgan had second thoughts. She said the song was "more of a boyfriend-girlfriend" song and that it "kinda feels weird" for them to be singing it together. Naturally, she invited Hunter's girlfriend, Brandi, to join them.

"I'm going to sing a song for you and Hunter," she said to the couple, before joking. "That way it won't be so weird. They already talk about us Tennesseans anyway."

In the spirit of Christmas, Morgan encouraged Hunter to give his lady love a gift after the song concluded. "Here, you can give her one of mine," she said, as the couple unwrapped a large box containing a T-shirt. "Well, color me happy - it's a Lorrie Morgan t-shirt!"

Inside of the large box, was a much, much smaller jewelry box. The audience broke into applause as Hunter dropped to one knee and proposed. He told Brandi that he "never wanted to wake up next to anyone else."

Brandi said "yes" but was so surprised and teary-eyed she didn't say much else.

Another high-point of the evening was a duet between country star Darryl Worley, who recently served as Grand Marshal of the Lebanon Christmas parade, and Morgan's son with her late husband Keith Whitley, Jesse Keith Whitley - who is an up-and-coming country act.

When she wasn't belting out tunes, Morgan shared a few funny stories from her career - in particular, an incident that occurred recently on her Grits and Glamour Tour with country artist Pam Tillis.

"Pam says we have to stay until every audience member has something signed... and as long as I do what Pam says we get along fine," Morgan said, adding that she would be signing autographs and taking photos after the Enchanted Christmas show. "We were in New York and had a huge crowd, lined around the building. People were buying the merchandise first, then they would stop at Pam's table and then at mine.

"The first person in line was a little, tiny, old, old lady. She walked up to Pam's table and leaned in and said 'Honey, I'm just so proud to be here tonight with you. You just looked so pretty on the stage, just like a little angel. Your daddy would be so proud. You sounded like a little bird," Morgan repeated the woman's words.

"Then she comes over to me and she reached her hand out and touched mine, oh so gently and said, 'Lord God Honey - I thought you was dead!"

"Now every time I call (Pam), she answers, 'Lord God Honey - I thought you was dead.' I called my mom and I'm crying about how somebody thought I was dead and my mom said, 'You know I ran into somebody the other day who thought you were dead," the charismatic Morgan continued, before pausing. "Thank you, Mom. I'm glad I called you, too."

Morgan pointed out that her beautiful mother was in the audience on Sunday.

She also introduced her band, The Good Boy Band, which included daughter-in-law, Ashley Hewitt, and Waylon Payne, son of country artist Sammi Smith, who portrayed a young Jerry Lee Lewis in the Johnny Cash biopic, "Walk the Line."

Morgan, who has sold more than six million records, has done versions of her Christmas show for the past decade. For the last three years, Morgan held the show at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.

In 2016 Morgan will release her newest album, "Letting Go... Slow." She resides in Wilson County with her husband, Randy White.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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Tags: 
Capitol Theatre, Christmas, entertainment, holidays, Lorrie Morgan, music, Woman of Wilson
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