Grits & Glamour

Following in father’s footsteps proved to be the right path for two country music queens. Pam Tillis is the daughter of the legendary Mel Tillis, and Lorrie Morgan is the daughter of Grand Ole Opry member George Morgan. Both ladies first hit the Opry stage with their fathers, and later carved their own country music careers in Nashville.

Tillis and Morgan both began solo careers in the late ‘80s and rose to prominence in the early ‘90s. They crossed paths several times throughout the years and decided to team up in 2009, forming the Grits and Glamour Tour. Their shared affinity for classic country music with a little flair made them a perfect pairing.

“Although we’ve practically grown up together, running in the same circles and backstage at the Opry as children, it truly was a newfound friendship,” Tillis said of their joint venture.

“We’d known one another for years but we’ve grown from ‘someone you know’ to having a real ‘got your back’ kind of friendship,” Morgan added.

The two artists shine on stage together and complement one another with a glamorous look, yet down-home personality. They add tight harmonies to each other’s material, including Tillis’ “Maybe It Was Memphis” and “Mi Vida Loca,” and Morgan’s “Something In Red” and “Except for Monday,” as well as new and original music from more recent projects.

They recorded a 14-track album called “Dos Divas” released in 2013 which features a mix of solo songs from each artist as well as a number of duets. In 2017 they got back in the studio together for a second collaborative album titled “Come See Me and Come Lonely.”

Along with their solo careers, they continue to tour together with their Grits and Glamour show, which is stopping at the Edgewater Pavilion Saturday Jan. 14. Catch the ladies in this fun collaboration while they are in town.

More on Pam Tillis

Pam Tillis joined her father Mel on stage at the Grand Ole Opry when she was just 8 years old to sing “Tom Dooley” with him. She learned to play piano and guitar by age 12. From then on she pursued music as her primary passion and joined several bands, playing various genres of music after high school. She was a backing vocalist for her father and also worked as a writer at his publishing company in the late ‘70s.

Tillis earned her first recording contract in 1981 with Elektra Records, but as a pop artist, rather than country. Her debut album in 1983 “Above and Beyond the Doll of Cutey” was not well received. Thus, she ditched the pop world and returned to her country roots in Nashville.

After a few years playing local nightclubs, she signed to Arista Nashville and released the song “Don’t Tell Me What to Do” in 1990, which earned Tillis her first Top 10 hit. The single was part of her debut album under Arista, “Put Yourself in My Place,” which was released in January 1991. The album garnered two more Top 10 singles with “One of Those Things” and “Maybe It Was Memphis.” The album’s title track fell just short of the Top 10, peaking at the No. 11 spot on the Hot Country Songs chart.

Fresh off the success of the last album, Arista released Tillis’ next record “Homeward Looking Angel” the following year, which scored a No. 3 hit single with “Shake the Sugar Tree.” Tillis co-wrote half of the songs on the album, which was certified platinum.

In 1994, Tillis reached even higher with the release of her third Arista album, titled “Sweetheart’s Dance.” It also was certified platinum, backed by several Top 5 singles and the No. 1 hit, “Mi Vida Loca.” Tillis won the Country Music Association Award for Top Female Vocalist that year.

Tillis took a turn at producing her next album for Arista, “All of This Love,” in 1995 and had two more Top 10 hits with “Deep Down” and “The River and the Highway.” Following a “Greatest Hits” album in 1997, Tillis released “Every Time” in 1998.

In 2000 she became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and released her next album “Thunder & Roses” the following year. The album featured a duet with her father titled “Waiting on the Wind.”

Her entire next album was a tribute to her father, called “It’s All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis,” released in 2002. It featured songs that he had recorded or wrote for other artists, including his No. 1 hit “I Ain’t Never.”

Tillis founded her own label in 2007 and released her next album “RhineStoned” the same year, followed by a Christmas album. She rerecorded some of her Arista hits and released them as “Recollection” in 2012. Her next two albums would be the joint projects with Lorrie Morgan in 2013 and ’17. Her latest release was 2020’s “Looking for a Feeling,” featuring 12 tracks with six of which she co-wrote.

More on Lorrie Morgan

Much like her touring partner, Lorrie Morgan graced the Opry stage with her dad George at the age of 13 to sing “Paper Roses.” A few years later her father passed away and Morgan joined his bandmates to continue the music at various gigs. After that, she began writing for Acuff-Rose Music and later signed with their Hickory Records label, releasing her first songs, “Two People in Love” and “Tell Me I’m Only Dreaming” in 1979.

Morgan toured as a backing vocalist for George Jones, among other artists, through the early ‘80s and made a name for herself. In 1984 she was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, joining the prestigious group her father had also been a part of.

Morgan signed to RCA Records Nashville in 1988 and released her first single, “Trainwreck of Emotion,” which served as the lead single to her debut album “Leave the Light On.” The album’s next two singles, “Dear Me” and “Out of Your Shoes,” both hit the Top 10 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Her next single, “Five Minutes,” became her first No. 1 on Hot Country Songs, followed by another Top 10 in “He Talks to Me.” The album went platinum and Morgan was propelled into the spotlight.

She followed that with a second platinum-selling album, “Something in the Red,” in 1991. Three of the album’s singles hit the Top 10 and Morgan got to record a duet called “Best Woman Wins” with Dolly Parton for the project.

The following year, Morgan moved to BNA Records and released her third album “Watch Me,” which also achieved platinum status. The title track peaked at No. 2 on the charts and the next single, “What Part of No,” went all the way to No. 1.

After a Christmas album in 1993, Morgan’s next studio album with BNA was 1994’s “War Paint.” She wrote two of the songs on the album, including the title track and a tribute to her late husband Keith Whitley, called “If You Came Back from Heaven.”

In 1995 she released a “Greatest Hits” album, which was certified double platinum and included a new track called “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” which became another No. 1 for the singer.

Morgan kept churning out an album every year from 1996-99, beginning with “Greater Need,” followed by “Shakin’ Things Up,” a cover album dedicated to her father, called “Secret Love,” and her last BNA album, “My Heart.”

In the new millennium she signed with RCA Nashville and released a collaborative album with her then husband Sammy Kershaw, called “I Finally Found Someone.” Then she moved to Image Entertainment in 2002 to release a two-disc compilation album, “The Color of Roses.”

Following that, Morgan released studio album “Show Me How” in 2004, a cover album called “A Moment in Time” in 2009 and another studio album in 2010, which she co-wrote, called “I Walk Alone.” Her latest solo album was 2016’s “Letting Go… Slow.”