He turns 74 today
Happy Birthday to Legendary Rocker Van Morrison
Sir George Ivan Morrison was born on August 31st 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. One of Rock’s most influential singers and musicians, Van Morrison became famous as the leader of Northern Irish band Them when they released their single “Baby Please Don’t Go” that featured the B-Side Garage Rock song “Gloria” which became their staple and signature song. It has been covered over the years by names such as The Doors, Patti Smith, The Jimi Hendrix Experience among many others. Aside of the mentioned songs, Them also scored hits with “Here Comes The Night”, “Mystic Eyes” both from 1965 and “It’s All Over Baby Blue” a Bob Dylan cover in 1966. During their residency at the Sunset Strip Whiskey A-Go-Go in 1966, Van Morrison meets Jim Morrison of The Doors, back then the local opening band for Them, it has been said that he had a strong influence on the way that Jim Morrison developed his stage persona, this was noted by The Doors drummer John Densmore in his book “Riders On The Storm”. Musicologist Brian Hinton relates how “Jim Morrison learned quickly from his near namesake’s stagecraft, his apparent recklessness, his air of subdued menace, the way he would improvise poetry to a rock beat, even his habit of crouching down by the bass drum during instrumental breaks.” On the final night of their residency at the Whiskey, the two Morrisons and the two bands jammed together on “Gloria” the song became later a staple on The Doors live concerts. After the band split in 1966, Morrison pursued a very successful solo career, his first big hit was “Brown Eyed Girl” from 1967, still the song he his remembered the best. With decades filled with musical success, Van Morrison released his 36th studio album in September 2016 “Keep Me Singing” his latest album “Roll with the Punches” was released on 22 September 2017 and Morrison makes no plans to stop.
Check the Van Morrison photo gallery
Watch Van Morrison with Them performing “Mystic Eyes” and “Gloria” in France 1965
Listen to a selection of Van Morrison and Them songs compiled by Pop Expresso on Spotify
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