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Van Morrison OBE

A Grammy Award-winning Northern Irish singer, songwriter, author, poet and multi-instrumentalist, who has been a professional musician since the late 1950s. He plays a variety of instruments, including the guitar, harmonica, keyboards, drums, and saxophone.

Morrison is widely considered one of the most unusual and influential vocalists in the history of rock and roll.

Even though Van Morrison can be classed easily as a rock singer he
really is that mixed with blues and jazz.

He soon formed a skiffle band named the Sputniks with school friends.

When this group disbanded, he wanted to join the Thunderbolts, but they turned him down because they already had a guitar player. After talking his father into buying him a saxophone, Morrison took lessons in tenor sax.

He then joined the Thunderbolts, playing in church dance halls.

After several short apprenticeship positions, he settled into a job as a window cleaner.

Morrison's career, spanning some five decades, has influenced many popular musical artists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.

After the death of his father in April 1988, Morrison honoured his father's memory with the song "Choppin' Wood", which he often performs in concert.

He joined with the members of "The Gamblers". Before the first opening night at the Maritime in April 1964, the group changed their name to "Them".

Morrison soon came to prominence fronting the band, as he was the group's only song-writer. They had a number of chart hits, most notably the rock standard "Gloria". The group allso had a top hit with "Baby Please Don't Go".

Morrison and the other Them band members became involved in a dispute with their manager over the revenues paid to the band.

Morrison returned to Belfast, intending to quit the music business.

Themís one-time producer, Bert Berns, persuaded him to return to New York and record solo for the Bang Records label.

From these early sessions, emerged one of his best-known songs, "Brown Eyed Girl" etc.

Following Bernsí death in 1967, Morrison became involved in a contract dispute with Berns' widow that prevented him from performing on stage or recording in the New York area.

However, through the few gigs he could find, he regained his professional footing and started recording with the Warner Bros. Records label.

His first album for Warner Bros. Records was "Astral Weeks".

In 1970, Morrison moved to Woodstock, New York, and released his next album, Moondance. This album became one of his great albums. This was a true break through record and still popular to this day.

In March 2007, Moondance was listed as #72 on the NARM Rock and Roll Hall of Fame list of the "Definitive 200".

Moondance was listed at #65 on the Rolling Stone Magazine's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

On Thanksgiving Day 1976, Morrison performed at the farewell concert for The Band.

In the early 1980s, Morrison moved back to Europe and at first settled in London's Notting Hill Gate area.

In 1989, Morrison released an even more popular seller, Avalon Sunset, which featured the hit duet with Cliff Richard "Whenever God Shines His Light" and the ballad "Have I Told You Lately" on which "earthly love transmutes into that for God."

In January 1993, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Van Morrison, he became the first inductee ever who did not attend his own induction ceremony. Robbie Robertson from The Band accepted the award on his behalf.

On 14 February 1994, Van Morrison received the BRIT Award for his Outstanding Contribution to British Music.

Van Morrison continued to record and tour in the 2000s, often performing two or three times a week.

In July 2001, Morrison received an honorary doctorate in music from Queen's University in his hometown of Belfast.

In October 2004 Van Morrison was honored as a BMI ICON at the annual London Awards for his "enduring influence on generations of music makers."

In November 2006, CNN published their list of The All-TIME 100 Greatest Albums.[140] Two of Van Morrison's albums, 1968's Astral Weeks and 1970's Moondance, were on the list.

Morrison appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on the first evening on 27 April 2007.

On 8 May 2007, Van Morrison was named Best International Male Singer of 2007 by the first ever International Awards at the renown Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London England.

Morrison was one of the headliners announced for the Stockholm Jazz Festival, celebrating their 25 year anniversity in July 2008.

Morrison remains a singer who can be compared to no other in the history of rock & roll.

Noted Albums

A Night in San Francisco Album
A Period of Transition Album
A Sense of Wonder Album
Astral Weeks Album
Avalon Sunset Album
Back On Top Album
Bang Masters Album
Beautiful Vision Album
Best of Van Morrison Volume Two Album
Blowin' Your Mind! Album
Common One Album
Days Like This Album
Down The Road Album
Enlightenment Album
Hard Nose the Highway Album
His Band & Street Choir Album
How Long Has This Been Going On Album
Hymns to the Silence Album
Into the Music Album
Irish Heartbeat Album
It's Too Late to Stop Now Album
Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast Album
Magic Time Album
Moondance Album
No Guru, No Method, No Teacher Album
Pay the Devil Album
Poetic Champions Compose Album
Saint Dominic's Preview Album
Tell Me Something: The Songs of Mose Allison Album
The Best of Van Morrison Album
The Healing Game Album
The Inarticulate Speech of the Heart Album
The Lost Tapes Album
The Philosopher's Stone Album
The Skiffle Sessions - Live in Belfast Album
The Story of Them Album
This Is Where I Came In Album
Too Long in Exile Album
Tupelo Honey Album
T.B. Sheets Album
Veedon Fleece Album
Wavelength Album
What's Wrong With This Picture? Album
You Win Again Album

For more information go to the Van Morrison web site at the above address.

With thanks.

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