Country Sub-Genre Superstars Gary Morris and Doug Kershaw!
On Day 2 of Classic Country Week, we hit on two sub-genres of country music. First up, we welcome country-pop crossover artist Gary Morris, and Doug Kershaw, a pioneer in the popularity of Cajun music.
Gary Morris is an ACM and CMA award-winner, and one of the founders of the ‘countrypolitan’ genre that crossed country music ballads with pop arrangements. As such, one of Mr. Morris’ most recognizable songs is his rendition of “The Wind Beneath my Wings,” which found its way to number four on the Billboard country charts.
One of the most interesting aspects of Morris’ career, however, has been his foray into operas and musical theatre. He performed with Linda Ronstadt in a star-studded production of La Boehm. Morris then tackled Broadway as Jean Valjean in the 1987 revival of Les Miserables. He was the first American to play the role. A few years later, Morris returned to Les Mis to lend his voice to the Complete Symphonic Recording, which went on to win a Best Musical Show Cast Album Grammy in 1991.
Doug Kershaw is known as the Ragin’ Cajun for his unique and energetic style of fiddle playing. Kershaw is known for his crossover hits “Diggy Diggy Lo” and “Louisiana Man.”
Doug Kershaw began his career with his brother, and in fact recorded original versions of those songs with his brother Rusty. But, Doug branched out on his own when Rusty realized his heart wasn’t in it. Ever since then, Doug has had this great success and, as he tells me, has been able to provide for his family by bringing Cajun music to fans all over the world. He’s now 81, and he says he doesn’t feel his age, and still loves to spread his music. Kershaw even mentions working on a new album with his son.
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