Gary Morris

Written By: Dennis - Feb• 01•12

After a self imposed hiatus from music to focus on other ventures, Gary Morris returned to the road and to the studio, much to the delight of his fans. Amidst the 2011 tour, One Voice, One Night, One Guitar; Gary opened the CMA Music Fest singing the National Anthem before more than 65,000 at LP Field, and went on to perform at the annual festival. He toured New England and mid-America with Kenny Rogers; joined George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, and Rosanne Cash in a concert taped for a TV special honoring Johnny Cash; returned to the Grand Ole Opry to a standing ovation; recorded and released the Faith and Freedom CD; returned to the stage in the Broadway bound “Soul Doctor”; held Master Classes at colleges and universities; and retained an extensive production, songwriting, and coast to coast touring schedule.
During the past decade Gary has concentrated on various production projects both at home and abroad. Perhaps his most exciting production credit is that of his own son, Matt, alumni of Disney’s New Mickey Mouse Club and a true talent quickly building his own successful career. The pair frequently perform together and their duets have been called, “…almost an embarrassment of riches, and open treasure chest of sound.”
Beginning in the early 1980’s, Morris recorded for Warner Brothers, MCA/Universal and Liberty records, producing twelve albums which spawned sixteen Top 10 singles and five No. 1 hits, including Wind Beneath My Wings, The Love She Found in Me, Baby Bye Bye, 100% Chance Of Rain, and Leave Me Lonely. Morris then broke new ground with his enormously successful self-produced acoustic album “Plain Brown Wrapper;” far preceding the “unplugged” genre that is so popular today.
In 1984, Gary Morris’ original rendition of Wind Beneath My Wings won both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music Song of the Year Awards. Never one to rest on his laurels, and at the height of his Nashville recording career, Morris boldly opted to play opposite Linda Ronstadt in a New York production of Puccini’s Opera, “La Bohème.” Many thought this transition foolhardy since a country singer of his stature had never before attempted the rigors of a live opera. His detractors were quickly silenced as his inspired and fearless performance took the Opera world by storm.
With seemingly no ceiling on the talent he possessed, his appearance in “La Bohème” led to offers from Broadway where he accepted the daunting task of becoming the first American to play the heroic and challenging role of Jean Val Jean in “Les Misérables,” one of the longest running plays in Broadway history. He received resounding critical praise, including a “Best Actor” nomination from the highly respected Drama Desk, for a performance that would set the standard for this uniquely challenging role. Morris’ famous rendition of Bring Him Home can be found on the platinum-selling, Grammy Award winning cast album creating a new fan base outside the country music world; including Her Majesty, the Queen of England, who, upon meeting him, mentioned how happy she was to finally put a face to the music and asked to shake his hand.
Gary Morris is equally comfortable in front of the camera with acting credits including a recurring-role on The Colby’s, Designing Women, and Mike Hammer, as well as, hosting and producing The Nashville Network’s top rated North American Sportsman, which ran for five years with diverse celebrity guests ranging from Bryant Gumble to Troy Aikman.
Morris could be seen in the powerful and moving Gary Morris and the Art of the Tretyakov, which aired on PBS affiliates around the country. Unlike any other concert special, Gary Morris and the Art of the Tretyakov allowed audiences intimate access to a world of paintings housed in the famed Tretyakov museum in Moscow that have rarely, if ever, been seen in the western hemisphere. As the first musician to ever perform live in this venerable museum that houses over 100,000 Russian masterpieces, Morris seamlessly weaves hauntingly beautiful music (both original and “signature” pieces) with images of classic Russian paintings. This unique and electrifying documentary is a historical homage to the struggles and conquests of a proud and passionate society.
As a producer, Gary quickly established himself by exploring the same types of diversity he enjoys as a performer. One of the most poignant moments of his career came when Olympic Gold Medalist and figure skater, Scott Hamilton, asked Gary to produce a song for his CBS televised comeback special, marking his return to the ice after a battle with cancer. There weren’t many dry eyes when Hamilton took the ice to Gary’s masterful rendition of the ballad With One More Look At You.
Gary produced an animated children’s cartoon, Nine Dog Christmas, which was released on both DVD and VHS and aired on the Cartoon Network. Nine Dog Christmas, featured songs written and sung, by both Gary and his son, Matt, along with additional performances by James Earl Jones and Olympian, Scott Hamilton.
Having been asked for years to record some inspirational music and old-time hymns; Gary released “I Believe,” “Bring Him Home & Other Prayers,” and “Hymns.” The patriotic favorites that he has performed at the NBA playoffs, the Masters Golf tournament, US Presidential inaugurations, US Military Bases around the world, and in his native Texas at Cowboys Stadium for the Dallas Cowboys can be found on the Faith and Freedom CD. Gary is currently working on a CD for release in 2012.
Gary Morris presently divides his time between his home in Nashville, Tennessee, and his hunting and fishing executive retreat in Southern Colorado.
– From the Official Bio of Gary Morris

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