Morgan Frazier:The Texas TeenWho’s Already Come A Long, Long Way
By Phil SweetlandMusic and radio contributor
NASHVILLE –She wrote her first song, “Gates Of Heaven,” at age seven.
It was a fitting title for a young girl whose first audience was her church congregation.
With a background in singing Gospel music, a passion for country music, and a smile that can capture a room, Morgan Frazier has quickly made a name for herself and has become one of Music Row’s rising stars.
Her remarkable journey began in a small Texas town, and she made her way to Nashville by literally going door-to-door and never losing faith.
At just nine years old, Morgan recorded her first CD in her hometown of Breckenridge, Texas. Although they had no formal plans to market or sell the CD’s, Morgan’s family believed in their little girl’s talent and ordered one thousand copies. The boxes arrived and soon overtook their living room.
One day, the young girl spoke to her father.“I want to get rid of those CDs,” Morgan said.“How?” Dad asked.“Take me downtown and I’ll get rid of them,” she said.“You can’t just give them away, Morgan, we paid for them,” he answered, calmly.
“Well,” the determined kid said, “I will sell them.”
Off she went to downtown Breckenridge, a former oil town of six thousand residents, tucked away between Fort Worth and Abilene.
Morgan recalls, “I walked into every store in our town square, and I sold about 60 CDs that day.”
It was just the beginning of an incredible run for this remarkable young girl. For the next two years, Morgan and her family traveled all over the South and Southwest selling over thirty thousand copies of her album. She claims to have visited just about every small town between Texas and Georgia, selling and singing in each place along the way.
“It was super hard, especially for being nine years old, having to grow up and just bite the bullet and be like, `this is what I have to do,’ (to provide for my family) ” she says. “It was a lot of pressure.”
Morgan has no regrets and says she wouldn’t trade that unique experience for anything. “It made me who I am...It gave me a lot of opportunities,” Morgan says. “I learned to talk to people, and develop common ground with adults, which helped me later in life.”
On her thirteenth birthday, Morgan performed at a songwriters showcase in the Hotel Preston, near the Nashville Airport. Her future manager, John Northrup of Northrup Entertainment, was in the audience.
“Working with John means everything to me, because he taught me everything I know about country music,” she says. “He’s been a big part of my life.”
Northrup never forgot the talented teenager from Breckenridge. When she turned fifteen, he called her and asked “Do you still want to sing?”
“Absolutely!” Morgan answered.
Soon after, Northrup helped to begin Morgan’s transition to Nashville, TN. Within a year’s time, Morgan had not only earned herself a recording contract with Curb Records, but she had also negotiated a songwriting deal with Curb Publishing.
Songwriting has always been a huge part of Morgan’s life, and it is truly her gift. She has the rare ability to bring an audience into her world with just her words and a few chords on her guitar. And her songs just keep getting better and better. For the last three years she has been co-writing with many of Nashville’s best: including Dean Dillon, Randy Boudreaux, Keith Anderson, Doug Johnson, and John Scott Sherrill.
“I love songwriting. I wrote my first song when I was 7 and I’ve kind of been addicted to it ever since,” she says.
Morgan, now eighteen, spends most of her weekends singing at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, the legendary honky-tonk where legends like Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Kris Kristofferson and Loretta Lynn all performed.
“I love Tootsie’s,” she says in late January. “It’s fun, and I get to do what I love.” And the patrons absolutely agree. She can bring a room of tired tourists to their feet with just a few quick strums on her guitar!
Morgan Frazier has come a long way from her door-to-door CD selling days. She is set to begin touring in early 2012 with her highly anticipated first album soon to follow.