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Gary Morris

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Most popular songs

# Song LSI Rank
1Maybe Now You'll See lyrics
2These Days lyrics
3Shine lyrics
4The Light May Not Be On lyrics
5Promised Land lyrics
6Velvet Chains lyrics
7Heaven's Hell Without You lyrics
8I'll Never Stop Loving You lyrics
9The Way I Love You Tonight lyrics
10Wayfaring Stranger lyrics

Most popular albums

# Album LSI Rank
1I Believe [2008]
2All-Time Greatest Hits [Flashback Records] [2003]
3One Voice One Guitar One Night [In House] [2003]
4Live at the Art of Tretyakov [In House Records] [1999]
5Lone Star Knight [In House] [1999]
6My Son, Your Christmas [In House Records] [1998]
7Live [In House Records] [1995]
8Les Miserables - The Complete Symphonic Recording [1991]
9Full Moon, Empty Heart [Capitol] [1991]
10Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 [Warner Bros.] [1990]


The romantic ballads of Texas-born Gary Morris were staples of country
radio in the 1980s — none more so than "The Wind Beneath My Wings,"
which was covered by Bette Midler later in the decade and became a song
heard at weddings perhaps more often than any other. From the start,
Morris had a powerful voice well suited to the musical theater stage, and
after his string of country hits came to an end he enjoyed a successful
theatrical career. Morris was born in Fort Worth, TX. Although his own style
would become thoroughly contemporary, he was descended from a long
line of traditional country and gospel musicians on both sides, and in the
third grade he and his twin sister won a talent contest with a rendition of
"This Old House." Morris played four sports in high school and won an
athletic scholarship to Cisco Junior College near Abilene, intending to go on
to Texas Tech. But music intervened as Morris and two college friends
spent a summer working in Colorado, which would become the singer's
permanent home.

The trio asked a Colorado Springs bartender if they could get up on the
bandstand and perform a few songs, and the audience's response (and
tips) convinced Morris to put his college plans on hold and to pursue a
performing career. He made a living singing in Denver clubs in the early
'70s, also composing advertising jingles for local corporations such as
Frontier Airlines. In 1976, Morris signed on with Jimmy Carter's presidential
campaign and sang at several fundraisers. That got him invited to perform
at the White House after Carter won the election, and Nashville producer
Norro Wilson happened to be in the audience as well. When Morris later
presented Wilson with a demo tape, the producer remembered him well
and signed him to the Warner Bros. label.

Morris notched a few hits with up-tempo country-rock pieces, but it was his
decisive turn toward ballad material on the 1983 Why Lady Why album that
put him at the top of the charts. That album spawned several Top Ten hits,
including the title track, "The Love She Found in Me," and "The Wind
Beneath My Wings," which steadily grew in popularity. In 1984 and 1985
Morris won a host of awards and made guest appearances on several
daytime and evening television series. That made it clear to entertainment-
industry insiders that although Morris had never studied either singing or
acting formally, he was that rare animal: a natural performer and a vocal
powerhouse. He was offered the role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway
production of Les Misérables in 1987, becoming the first American to play
the part in that European musical.

Morris didn't give up on country music at first; he recorded 12 country
albums in all, including the innovative, mostly acoustic Plain Brown Wrapper,
and he notched 16 Top Ten singles. But his role in Les Misérables evolved
into a part in the show's touring production and then in its symphonically
accompanied recording. These activities took time, and Morris' country
career suffered. His live-theater activities, on the other hand, flourished;
he appeared with another former progressive country singer, Linda
Ronstadt, in the Broadway adaptation of Puccini's opera La Boheme, and
he spent much of the 1990s working on other pop projects such as a PBS
special concert performance in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, Russia.
Morris returned to country music as a performer in Branson, MO, and as a
producer in the late '90s. He has shepherded the career of his son, Matthew,
and has often performed private concerts for corporate clients. Morris
resides at his own fly-fishing lodge in the Colorado Rockies.

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