Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Van


VAN is the MAN! 

Born in 1945 in Belfast, this critically acclaimed Northern Irish singer started his career in the 1950s in local showbands. 

By the late sixties, George Ivan Morrison became the rhythm and blues darling, the soulful master of such hits as "Brown Eyed Girl," "Wild Nights," "Domino," "The Mystic," and "Gloria."

He writes, sings, collaborates, mixes and re-mixes. Van Morrison's career spans decade after prolific decade.  Often copied, he is never bested. 

In fact, why I am even trying to tell his story? This is all you have to know: VAN IS THE MAN...I'm a nobody...who happens to be (conveniently) a brown eyed girl...









Make sure to visit some of these great bloggers who are participating in the challenge!

40 comments:

  1. Great songs. I'm most familiar with Brown-Eyed Girl.

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  2. Terrific !
    I can't believe you are almost done with this months A to Z challenge
    For me your posts are just so interesting and is zooming by.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I can't either - I was hesitant, but it's really been fun! Thanks for following.

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  3. he is a great singer! I just have nothing more to say except he is great!

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  4. My Dad usually preferred bluegrass, or classical piano, but he did develop a fondness for James Taylor, and... Van Morrison. He used to sing Brown-eyed Girl to my brown-eyed niece. Thank you for reminding me of that today. =)

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  5. Good pick. Haven't heard Domino in awhile. More bands these days could use a horn section.

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    1. Amen! Why has Phil Spector cornered the market on kickin' it up a notch, eh?

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  6. I am a late van Morrison fan. McCarthy will be all excited!

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    1. I hadn't thought of that - I know he'll like "W".

      Better take a few more vitamins to gear up for it.

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  7. Oh, yeah, good ol' Sammy Van Hagar, one of my all-time favorite singers.

    He did that song 'I Can't Type 55', which may have been true for him, but I myself have been known to type 70. Yep, it's true. And it's pretty dern fast for a... guy. I've even been pulled over and cited for it.

    Hmmm... Suddenly I suspects I may have the wrong "Van" in mind...

    CHERDO, some of your readers may remember a band called... "THE BAND". And those who do will probably also remember a very famous Thanksgiving Day concert called... 'THE BAND'S LAST WALTZ'. And those who do, may remember a particular performance by a man named Van, who was a friend of 'The Band'.

    The Band's drummer and one of its principal singers, one "Levon Helm", put it this way...

    By now it was after midnight and the crowd was subdued. The momentum of the show had been lost halfway through Joni's [Joni Mitchell's] set. ... Van Morrison (in a maroon suit) made his entrance amid much cheering - this was Van's first appearance onstage in more than two years - and The Last Waltz was suddenly revived with a spectacular version of "Caravan". John Simon conducted The Band and the horns as Van burned through his great song - "Turn it up! Little bit louder! Radio!" - complete with kick-steps across the stage at the end. Van turned the whole thing around, God bless him for being the showman that he is.
    ~ 'This Wheel's On Fire' by Levon Helm [pages 264 & 265]

    Should anyone be tempted to call Levon a liar and an exaggerator, here's the evidence on film...

    Van Morrison singing [Link:] 'CARAVAN' with The Band at 'The Band's Last Waltz'.

    CHERDO, how many milkshakes was that contribution worth?

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Thousands of milkshakes...I virtual Lake Tahoe of TaChocolate, TaStrawberry and TaVANilla. As soon as I can make arrangements with a trucking company, I will forward those freezy delights in gratitude (and refrigeration).

      As a point of reference, Cherdo loved The Band and mourned ole' Levon. I'd never call Levon a liar...

      You'll like W, but perhaps be less enthusiastic for the individual songs. But life will go on...

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    2. Hokey-Smoke, CHERDO! You have outdone yourself. I would have been perfectly satisfied had you merely said... "Milkshakes? Up to eleven!"

      ~ D-FensDogG

      POSTSCRIPT:
      I liked Levon and his name so much that back in 1994 I wrote a short story based on some imaginary events in Prescott, Arizona. Actually, I had two different ideas about how the story should go and I couldn't manage to choose just one, so I wound up writing BOTH versions. In one of them, a small town newspaper journalist is named Levon Rendman.

      You're familiar with that famous line from the John Wayne movie 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance'?... [Link:] "This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

      Well, Levon does the opposite: He unravels the legend and discovers the truth. He's then shunned to the point that he must pack up his family and leave town. Poor Levon. (He shoulda just stuck with drummin' and singin'.)

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  8. Good morning, dear Cherdo!

    Ace is the place for me...and Van is the man for blue-eyed soul.

    It's interesting to me that Van Morrison's song "Gloria," one of the greatest garage rock anthems of the 60s, was recorded by his group Them and released in the summer of 1964 as the B side of the oft recorded blues standard "Baby, Please Don't Go." It happens all the time. The fab flip emerges as the hit side. "Gloria" was re-released as an A side the following summer. The record by Them was banned by some U.S. radio stations because it contained the lyrics ""She comes to my room." (Oooooooh - mustn't let filthy, vulgar words like those fall on young Shady's virgin ears.) At the Shady Dell, the only version of the song I ever heard was the top 10 hit cover by The Shadows of Knight. On their recording, released at the end of 1965, the words were changed to "She calls out my name." (I dunno. That's still pretty racy!) "Gloria" became one of the Dell's Greatest Hits in the spring of 1966.

    "Brown Eyed Girl" filled the airwaves and spun on turntables throughout the summer of '67 and followed me out of town and away from home for the first time as I began my freshman year at college. The record continued to be played heavily on the campus radio station throughout the fall term.

    A nice cover of "Into the Mystic" was recorded by another soulful white singer/songwriter, Johnny Rivers.

    Thanks for the music and memories, Van Morrison, and thank you dear friend Cherdo, for saluting him. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Great comments on The Man, dear Shady! I'm loving the A-to-Z and trying to be the rule follower that I always meant to be by keeping it short, but DANG that is difficult. There's so many stories built into the story. For that reason, I'm glad you and Stephen use the comment space to add some spice. Kudos!

      I've enjoyed the A-to-Z (shhh...I've already decided on my theme for next year...).

      The weekend is upon us and I'm going through my stuff like wildfire, now that I can see the light at the end of the (academic) tunnel for this year. I've got my second wind. Look out, May.

      Enjoy yourself, take care, be safe, Van Shadisson!

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    2. I had totally forgotten (if I ever knew at all) that Van Morrison did Gloria. All the local bands in the 60's and 70's did a version of it. And naturally it's on Youtube.

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  9. "Brown eyed girl" is a great song! An excellent choice for V!

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    1. You are the most supportive evil breakfast pastry I've ever known.

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  10. He sure has made a bunch of great songs indeed

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    1. Not all were his compositions, but he sure "owned" them with his vocals.

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  11. I had no idea so many great songs could be attributed to this fellow. Quite impressive.

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    1. As an artsy person, don't you love the reflection of the piano keys in his sunglasses? I made it blue-toned (the blues, baby!), but I just wanted to draw more attention to that. It's so cool.

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  12. Van was the man. His songs were great.

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  13. He's had one heck of a career. Always wondered if Van was his real name, and technically it is.

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  14. As soon as I saw your feature, I knew that StMc would be happy with today's post. I read the comment (and he is).

    I've always liked Van, but I don't think I've truly appreciated him as an artist. McCarthy is determined to open my eyes here. And that's okay by me. Yet he's never offered me a milkshake...

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    1. GIRL WONDER ~
      STMcC doesn't offer milkshakes. He collects them. That is until he can no longer fasten his pants. At that point he switches to lite beer for a little while. (Don't ever tell Beer Boy Bryan that as it would crush the image he has of me.)

      ~ D-FensDogG

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    2. Come to Cherdo Land, Robin...I'll get you that milkshake, girl.

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  15. Okay, here's the deal. Years ago at my old job, we were "behind" and had to come in an hour early (en route to making a 10-hr workday a 12-hr one). Every morning when we were getting ready, the local oldies station HAD to play Brown Eyed Girl at the same time. My opinion never recovered, and that's a shame, cause it's really a good song.


    Even further back, my niece's best friend thought the song began with "Hey there Rodrigo", and we've called it that ever since.

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    1. Ha ha ha...Hey there, Rodrigo....hilarious.

      The overdone song is the worst (Feelings? Staying Alive?)

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  16. I am a brown-eyed girl. Strangely, when I was a child, the other kids asked me all the time why I looked Japanese or Chinese, or they accused me of being the enemy (Vietnamese). Morons. After I reached adulthood, people often told me, Oh, look at you with your blonde hair and blue eyes. You must be Scandinavian.

    Yes, Norwegian, but my eyes are still as brown as they were during my childhood.

    I live a life filled with confusion. So does the Hurricane. When she's in England, people think she's Irish (red hair). In the U.S., they often ask her if she's native American (skin tone that goes with the dark red hair). I wonder why people feel they have to put us in a category. If you should happen to feel the need to categorize me, then please put me in the DOG LOVER column.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I'm a brown eyed girl, too, and I think we still have something to offer mankind (smirk).

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  17. I love Van Morrison. "Brown Eyed Girl" is my favorite, of course. The clean-for-radio edit kills me. How can you even pretend that song isn't about losing your virginity?

    I love "Tupelo Honey," too. He's a lot more prolific than most people realize.

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    1. I agree that I don't like when they change them.

      "Tupelo Honey" is classic!

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  18. I'm so glad that Van Morrison brought you and Stephen closer together. That's what good music does to good people, right?

    Julie

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    1. Yes, it does...I'm not sure Stephen and I need to be any closer together, ha ha. We might flame out.

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  19. I just KNEW you were going to use Van Morrison. I love Into the Mystic and of course, how could I NOT like Brown Eyed girl!! In my crazy college days, many a night did I jump on stage at my favorite bar and sing along with the piano guy to that song. ahhh memories! Van has tons of songs that are pretty popular that I think people don't realize.

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    1. Of course, I'd use Van Morrison. Why? Cause he is THE MAN.

      Also, I don't have another singer whose first name rhymes with "man" or anything remotely cool (George? Billy? Ann could be the man except for the obvious problem with that...).

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Thanks for your personal yada, yada, yada,
Love, Cherdo