Van Morrison

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Van Morrison

Postby BlueWater on Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:28 pm

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Van Morrison,is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are regarded as transcendental and inspired;while some of his recordings, such as the studio albums Astral Weeks and Moondance, and the live album It's Too Late to Stop Now, are widely viewed as among the greatest ever made.

Known as "Van the Man" to his fans, Morrison started his professional career when, as a teenager in the late 1950s, he played a variety of instruments including guitar, harmonica, keyboards and saxophone for various Irish showbands covering the popular hits of the day.He rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as the lead singer of the Northern Irish R&B band Them, with whom he recorded the garage band classic "Gloria".His solo career began under the pop-hit oriented guidance of Bert Berns with the release of the hit single "Brown Eyed Girl" in 1967.In 2008 he performed Astral Weeks live for the first time since 1968.

Much of Morrison's music is structured around the conventions of soul music and R&B, Morrison has received considerable acclaim, including six Grammy Awards, being inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and appearing on several "Greatest Artists" lists.
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BlueWater
 
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Life and career

Postby BlueWater on Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:38 pm

George Ivan (Van) Morrison was born on 31 August 1945, at 125 Hynford Street, Bloomfield, East Belfast, Northern Ireland as the only child of George Morrison, a shipyard electrician, and Violet Stitt Morrison, a singer and tap dancer in her youth.

Morrison, who began to be known as "Van" during this time, attended Elmgrove Primary School. Morrison's father had what was at the time one of the largest record collections in Ulster (acquired during his sojourn in Detroit, Michigan in the early 1950s), and the young Morrison grew up listening to artists such as Jelly Roll Morton, Ray Charles, Lead Belly, and Solomon Burke;Those guys were the inspiration that got me going.

Morrison's father bought him his first acoustic guitar when he was eleven, and he learned to play rudimentary chords from the song book, The Carter Family Style, edited by Alan Lomax.A year later, when he was twelve years old, Morrison formed his first band, a skiffle group, "The Sputniks", named after the recently launched Soviet satellite, Sputnik 1.

Morrison attended Orangefield High School, leaving in July 1960 with no qualifications. As a member of a working-class community, it was expected that he would get a regular full-time job, so after several short apprenticeship positions, he settled into a job as a window cleaner— later alluded to in his songs, "Cleaning Windows" and "Saint Dominic's Preview".

At age 17, he toured Europe for the first time with the Monarchs, now calling themselves the International Monarchs. This Irish showband, with Morrison playing saxophone, guitar and harp, in addition to back-up duty on bass and drums, toured steamy clubs and US Army bases in Scotland, England, and Germany, often playing five sets a night. While in Germany, the band recorded a single, "Boozoo Hully Gully"/"Twingy Baby", under the name Georgie and The Monarchs. This was Morrison's first recording, taking place in November 1963 at Ariola Studios in Cologne with Morrison on saxophone; it made the lower reaches of the German charts.

Upon returning to Belfast in November 1963, the group disbanded,so Morrison connected with Geordie Sproule again and played with him in the Manhattan Showband along with guitarist Herbie Armstrong. When Armstrong auditioned to play with Brian Rossi and the Golden Eagles, Morrison went along and was hired as a blues singer.
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