Morgan was born in Wondai, Queensland, 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. He was inducted into the Australasian Country Music Roll of Renown in January 1987, 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, "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 One & 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 apologised for the rumour.
Morgan was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award at the 2010 CMAA Country Music Awards of Australia, the first person to be honoured with this awardFamily and Friends
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.
Live At The Long Yard "Busted"