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Gary Morris

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 Bohème, 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. ~ James Manheim, Rovi
full bio

Comments

100% Chance of Rain is Awesome... but then I think nearly all of his songs are Awesome!
Give her rain and she'll find a rainbow are some of the lyrics from the song The Love She Found In Me.
What about if we're ever gonna see a rainbow, we gotta stand a little rain? That might not be the right title, but I was sure that was one of Gary's.
jodyh
gary morris is a great fort worth singer
Love Gary Morris!!!
Absolutely love his voice. Saw him in the 80's. Had to purchase many of his tapes because of his incredible voice and his looks. "See The Love She Found In Me" is one of my favorites. Paula
what a blessing to hear him sing! The Love She Found in Me is priceless!!! ! ! ! I was on the air as a Country DJ playin his music when he first hit the scene and I was blown away by his voice! his music will live on forever!!
100% chance of rain = Great Song ....
try digitaldream d o o r . c o m
I love his song, Lasso the Moon. I could not find it on Itunes.
I miss him recording new stuff. He has the most effortless singing voice ever. I have most of his CD's and tapes and I wish I had more. He's my all-time favorite singer.
Gary Morris was not a Branson performer. I live 30 miles from Branson, and trust me, I would have been there everyday!
mrklean12
not only his voice but the meaning in his songs make him one of a kind. i wonder how many lives he changed??
Just saw Gary perform last month here in Bozeman, MT. Incredible show! Just he and his guitar... Got to talk to him in the lobby afterward. He does have a few new albums of hymns.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this man's voice. Absolutely gorgeous!
jnienteddybe a r s
He stole my heart away with songs that has a lot to say from love to todays conditions.
falconcop
I saw him earlier this year in a small shop in Pagosa Springs, Colorado (Choke Cherry Tree)on the way to Durango. Very down to earth.
Any chance of hearing Mr. Morris again? He's got to be somewhere. His voice is my favorite of all time and he's not forgotten.
It's sad that the industry turned their backs on him when he chose to go into theater. He has an incredible voice and heart!
can you play the song of garry morris tittle is ill never stop loving you i like to didicate this song to all the listner of k n d i 1270 am
My first experience in hearing Gary Morris was in the late 80's when Velvet Chains came out. I was blessed to see him in concert three times. I fell in love with his music and still feel the same. I too was able to see him in concert where he sang with only his guitar. What an experience. I too wish he would continue to record, his music is so wonderful and he's a great talent.
I first heard Gary on a radio station in Elpaso Texas in 1986. Later he was in concert at the auditorium in Elpaso. I decided to go to have something to do. Gary came out and began to sing WITHOUT music. I was amazed. I'd never heard anyone with such a beautiful voice! I was a devoted fan immediately. I went out and bought every tape he had out. I really wish he would continue to sing the songs that made him famous then. He really is a great singer and entertainer.
A true fan,
Mark Owens
Greetings: Gary Morris has such a special voice and I love to listen to it. It is too bad that his career has taken such radical turns. The country music field is not very forgiving. If anyone dares to step out of the circle, when they have the talent to do so, that person is nearly banded from stepping back into the circle of country music. That's okay, it is country music's loss not to receive Gary back. Gary is his own person and moves to his own drum. I like it that way. Sharie
So sad that someone with such a beautiful voice isn't recording today. I love his songs.
Saw him in concert about 20 yrs. ago' loved his music then, still do. Wish he had new music out.
I had his faded blue album, and I really liked it.

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