Chad Morgan

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Chad Morgan OAM
Morgan in June 2011 Morgan in June 2011
Background information
Birth nameChadwick William Morgan
Also known asThe Sheik of Scrubby Creek
Born11 February 1933 (age 87)
Wondai, Queensland, Australia
GenresCountry and western
Occupation(s)Comedic singer and guitarist
InstrumentsVocalsGuitar
Years active1952–present
LabelsEMI
Associated actsSlim Dusty, The Muirs, Eddie Tapp, Gordon Larkin
Websitewww.chadmorgan.com.au

Chadwick William “Chad” Morgan OAM (born 11 February 1933) is an Australian country music singer and guitarist known for his vaudeville style of comic country and western songs, his prominent teeth and goofy stage persona. In reference to his first recording, he is known as “The Sheik of Scrubby Creek“.

Biography

Morgan was born in Wondai, Queensland, [GR1] the eldest of 14 children to Dave and Ivy Morgan. From an early age he was raised by his grandparents, Bill and Eva Hopkins. After his grandfather died in 1945, he and his grandmother moved back to Scrubby Creek to live with his parents and siblings. Morgan left school at age 12 and found work cutting timber.

Morgan was discovered through Australia’s Amateur Hour, a radio talent contest, where he sang his original song “The Sheik of Scrubby Creek” and was a finalist. He began recording with Regal Zonophone Records (a subsidiary of EMI) in 1952, while completing his national service obligation in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

Morgan’s songs are peppered with Australian slang; one CD compilation is called Sheilas, Drongos, Dills and Geezers.

Morgan’s first wife was Pam Mitchell, with whom he had three children – Allan, Chad Jr. and Janelle.

Morgan married again on 14 September 1985 to Joanie, whom he had met the year before. After their marriage Morgan gave up drinking and smoking completely.

Morgan has toured extensively, including with the Slim Dusty Show, the All Star Western Show and his own Chad Morgan Show. He has been prolific in his recorded output and live performances. In 1987 Morgan was inducted into the Australian Roll of Renown, and was awarded an OAM in 2004.

Morgan has appeared in three films, Newsfront (1978), Dimboola (1979), and the biographical documentary I’m Not Dead Yet (2011).

Morgan contributed one verse to the Gordon Parsons song “Pub With No Beer“. He was dubbed the “clown prince of comedy” by Slim Dusty. He recorded a duet with John Williamson,

John Williamson, August 2012, State Theatre, Sydney

“A Country Balladeer”. He has had platinum and gold album sales and is one of Australia’s most popular country music artists.

Morgan performed at Sydney Opera House with Slim Dusty in April 1978. An album of the concert was released three years later, as On & Off The Road. It was released the same year as Sheilas Drongos Dills & Other Geezers which contained 20 of Morgan’s hits from the 1950s and 1960s.

In 2009, Morgan wrote a song about his Aboriginal heritage, dedicated to his grandparents who raised him as a child, titled “The Ballad of Bill and Eva”. It was recorded with his granddaughter, Caitlin Morgan.

Artists who have impersonated Morgan in their shows include Col Elliott and John Williamson.

Barry Humphries used Morgan as his inspiration for Les Patterson’s teeth. 

Tex Morton once described Morgan as the only original country music artist in Australia.

In 2008, false rumours of his death began to surface after an announcement on radio station 4GY. The radio station later apologized for the rumor.

Award honors

Australian Roll of Renown

The Australian Roll of Renown[GR2]  honours Australian and New Zealander musicians who have shaped the music industry by making a significant and lasting contribution to Country Music. It was inaugurated in 1976 and the inductee is announced at the Country Music Awards of Australia in Tamworth in January.

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1987Chad MorganAustralian Roll of Renowninductee

Morgan was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the 2010 CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, the first person to be honoured with this award

A bronze bust of Morgan was unveiled in Tamworth’s Bicentennial Park in 2017.

Discography

Albums

  • The Sheik
  • Chad Morgan – The Singles Collection
  • It’s Only the Depth that Varies
  • Cop This Lot
  • Muckin Round in Muckadilla
  • The Worst of
  • In Person
  • The Sheik of Scrubby Creek
  • Sheilas Drongos Dills & Other Geezers
  • There’s Life in the Old dog yet
  • Double Decker Blowflies
  • More Worst of Chad Morgan
  • Songs My Old Mates Sang
  • Chad Charms the Birds
  • At his Sunday Best
  • Morgan Magic
  • Chad Morgan live!
  • In Person
  • Sings John Ashe
  • The Chad Morgan Song Book
  • The Artistry of Chad Morgan
  • You Can’t keep a good man down
  • Been there done that gonna do it again
  • One for one
  • Chad charms the birds
  • Don’t drink the water in the outback
  • On & off the road
  • The Best of Chad Morgan
  • Here I am
  • Booze Ballads and Broads
  • Cock of the walk
  • They Call Me the Sheik
  • One of the Mob
  • The Singles collection-Regal Zonophone and beyond
  • More Worst Of
  • Recycled
  • The Dues are Paid
  • Deadly}}
  • Family and Friends
  • Duckinwilla Dance

Documentary film

A documentary film, I’m Not Dead Yet, was made about Morgan’s life. It was written and directed by the filmmaker Janine Hoskings. The DVD was released by Umbrella Entertainment on 6 June 2012.


 [GR1]Wondai /ˈwɒndaɪ/ is a rural town and locality in the South Burnett RegionQueensland, Australia. In the 2016 census, Wondai had a population of 1,973 people

 [GR2]The Australian Roll of Renown was inaugurated by Radio 2TM in 1976. The award honours Australian and New Zealander musicians who have shaped the music industry by making a significant and lasting contribution to Country Music. The award is determined by an independent selection panel, set up under Chairmanship of Max Ellis, one of the original founders of the Roll of Renown, the Awards and the Festival. The inductee is announced at the Country Music Awards of Australia in Tamworth in January.

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