Van Morrison is known as “Van the Man” for a reason. He’s a bona fide legend and a hero to musicians and music fans alike. His career began when he was a teenager in the late 1950s. He fronted one of the all-time great garage bands, Them. In the late 1960s and beyond, he solidified his place in the Valhalla of rock music thanks to a series of mesmerizing albums and a slew of amazing concerts. The Belfast-born singer has sold hundreds of thousands of Van Morrison tickets all over the world.
Morrison is the father of a brand of music known as “Celtic Soul,” a blending of soul, R&B, and rock mixed with elements of traditional Celtic music, jazz, and mysticism. Morrison has captured six Grammy Awards. He’s a member of both the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame. When it comes time to argue about the greatest singer-songwriter of all-time, Van Morrison is in the conversation.
One of the interesting aspects of Morrison’s body of work is how it can be both accessible and challenging. For example, his most popular song, “Brown Eyed Girl,” is an anthem to sorority sisters all over the world. Just about every time it’s played in public some young woman will yell “Whooo” and claim the song was written about her. That tune was released in 1967. The following year, Van Morrison released Astral Weeks—a work often referred to as a “song cycle.” It’s so inventive and draws on so many musical elements that it still defies description. Astral Weeks takes the listener on a spiritual journey through life and death. Rolling Stone magazine named Astral Weeks the 19th greatest album ever released.
George Ivan Morrison was born Aug. 31, 1945 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His mother was a singer and a tap dancer, but it was his electrician father that really got him into music. Morrison’s father had a huge record collection that included the works of Ray Charles, Lead Belly, Jelly Roll Morton, Mahalia Jackson, Woody Guthrie, and Hank Williams. Morrison credits many of the aforementioned artists for helping him get into music.