Written by Beth Nielsen Chapman
#1 (1 week)
April 14, 1990
A second generation country star scores her first No. 1 hit.
The Road to No. 1
As the daughter of Country Music Hall of Famer George Morgan, Lorrie Morgan grew up within the music industry. She made her Opry debut at age thirteen, but it took many years of paying her dues before she made a major impact on the country charts. She released several standalone singles in the late seventies and throughout the eighties, but she was primarily known during this period as a regular performer on Nashville Now and as the youngest Opry member, having been inducted in 1984 just weeks shy of her 25th birthday.
Morgan made one final set of demo tapes in the late eighties, with the resolution that she would give up on her dream if these didn’t secure her a record deal. Luckily, RCA saw her potential and signed her to RCA Records, which was already the home of her husband, Keith Whitley. Her career took off quickly after that, as her debut album, Leave the Light On, produced a top twenty hit in leadoff “Trainwreck of Emotion,” then broke through to the top ten with “Dear Me” and the top five with “Out of Your Shoes.”
The No. 1
As the fourth single, RCA chose “Five Minutes,” a Beth Nielsen Chapman composition which was first recorded by Pam Tillis for Warner Bros., who didn’t release it until Tillis broke through on Arista Records in the early nineties.
“Five Minutes” feels like a Lorrie Morgan prototype in retrospect, as she tries on a more nervy nineties woman approach to singing and starts leaving behind the torch queen stylings that made Leave the Light On sound a bit dated upon its release. It doesn’t have the edge or grit of later kiss-off songs like “Watch Me” and “We Both Walk,” but you can hear her working her way up to that confidence on this track more than any other from her debut album.
The Road From No. 1
Leave the Light On went gold shortly after “Five Minutes” went No. 1, and produced another hit with “He Talks to Me.” Morgan won a CMA Award in 1990 for her posthumously released collaboration with Keith Whitley, “‘Til a Tear Becomes a Rose.” Her next project, Something in Red, would bring her back to the top of the charts, so we’ll be seeing her again soon.
”Five Minutes” gets a B+.