Steve Morley

I like writing about music…

Interview with Steve Morley, music journalist and musician

© Lilly Drumeva-O’Reilly

Steve Morley is a writer and editor with hundreds of published articles. He is also a professional touring musician with established, internationally known acts including the Bellamy Brothers and B.J. Thomas. I met Steve in Nashville during the Americana Music Conference in September 2013. He was kind to give me lots of old country music magazines, which I studied for my book. He was editor and main writer of some of them. In the lobby of my hotel, I found another magazine “Nashville Sports & Entertainment” where I saw his name. I had a chance also to play with Steve at George Hamilton V’s show “Viva NashVegas” in Franklin, Tennessee, where he backed me on piano. Before leaving Nashville in November 2013, I had a chance to talk to Steve and here is what he shared:

Tell me about your music career, you have played with some famous artists?

Yes, with Holly Dunn, Highway 101, B. J. Thomas, I was in bands since I was 14 years old. I auditioned for the Bellary Brothers and they took me on tour to Europe.

Do you have any funny stories?

I participated in Garth Brooks’ song “Friends in low places”. They were practicing with the people who sang in the choir. When I entered, they gave me a beer and asked me to join. So I took it and started singing “I got friends in low places…” During the chorus, I noticed that there was a place where nothing was happening. So I decided to pop my beer tap right there. Many years later, Garth Brooks said in the interview, that while they were mixing the song, there was a funny sound and they were wondering what it was. Finally, somebody realized it was a beer tap. They attributed it to one of the musicians… I thought this was funny!

And tell me about your writing?

It gave me a chance to meet a lot of important people in the music industry. I started with a column in “Music Row” magazine. Then I started my own, called “Nashville Monitor”. It was a disappointment. Then I moved to “Country Music Weekly”. Now I write features for “Nashville Sports & Entertainment”.
I like writing about music.

How do you make your writing engaging?

It’s hard to tell. I usually do a lot of research. I gather more information than I need. Then I start writing a story. I have a bachelor degree in journalism. I write also artists bios and press releases.

How did you hear country music?

My parents were playing records of Eddy Arnold, John Denver. But I listened to all kinds of music, rock and pop. I am a music lover. I have a heavy appetite for music.

You play keyboards, who were your influences?

Leon Russell.

What do you like about country music?

The sentimental songs. One of my favorites is “From a Jack to King”. Ned Miller sang it. Another one is “The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis. I like Buck Owens and the Bakersfield style country.

Thanks a lot Steve, hope to see you again!

Lilly Drumeva