Craig Morgan Has Fans to Thank for Latest Hit, ‘Wake Up Lovin’ You’
Craig Morgan has taken the long way into the Top 20 with his current single, ‘Wake Up Lovin’ You’ — but the singer says that’s nothing new.
He debuted the song at the Country Radio Seminar in March of 2013, and released it as the first single from his current album, ‘The Journey – Livin’ Hits,’ which came out in September.
“This is about typical for my records,” Morgan tells The Boot. “For 14 years, every single takes around a year [to become a hit]. It’s unbelievable. I just got the research, the label just showed me a bunch of stuff, and it’s right in line, or ahead of some of my bigger hits, as far as numbers and dates. So, no complaints.”
He adds with a laugh, “I’ll be honest with you — I do my job, and I don’t think about it or worry about it. I kinda give it to God and let Him have it. Once it gets in the Top 20, where we’re at right now, I start looking at it a little closer, just to see what’s going on with various stations, and those are things I focus on. But generally I go out and do my job, and I can tell by the reaction from the crowd what’s going on with the song.”
Morgan began a new label relationship with Black River Entertainment for his last album, ‘This Ole Boy,’ and while it placed several solid singles and sold respectably, it didn’t quite result in the career impact that everyone involved was hoping for. Along with several other tracks on his latest album, ‘Wake Up Lovin’ You’ represents a musical change of pace for Morgan, featuring a soaring vocal and some fresh new lyrical and arrangement elements.
“I think it was very important — I was at a critical point in my career,” Morgan acknowledges. “I’m good with that. I accept that. So it was very important for me to do something, or don’t do anything. And this was a song that I felt like had enough of the things that people expect from Craig Morgan, while at the same time, it went somewhere else, where people could see a side of me that they might not have been able to see before. So it allows me to grow.”
Morgan has been working radio and the road aggressively to support the single, but he says there’s really only one thing that can make a song into a hit.
“What makes a hit song is the fans. Period,” he says emphatically. “If they love it, and they want to hear it over and over, and they request it and the radio has to play it, that’s what makes a hit. Ultimately, if you play a song for 10 people in a room, and nine of them don’t like it, it doesn’t matter what you think. It’s not a hit.”
Now that ‘Wake Up Lovin’ You’ has cracked the Top 20, Morgan and his team are ramping up promotional activities to bring fresh attention to the track.
“We’re very excited about this song,” he states. “We feel like we have a No. 1 song. We’re now pushing to get it into the Top 10, and then we’ll be pushing for No. 1. I have said, and I continue to say, it’s the biggest hit of my career.”