Wednesday, 31 August 2011

August 31 - Happy 66th Birthday Van!

Van Morrison was born at 125 Hyndford St, in East Belfast, Northern Ireland on August 31, 1945.  The small two bedroom terraced house at 125 was where his mother had grown up.  A plaque (which Van opposed) marks the birthplace of the man who would go on to create a unique musical legacy.  

Van was born into modest circumstances.  His father, George Morrison, was an electrician in the Harland and Wolff ship yards where the Titanic was built.  Van's song "Choppin' Wood" is a tribute to his father and his father's work.  An unusual hobby that his father had was collecting records.  Van has commented a number of times in interviews about the collection which included big band, blues and country records.      

A question that a lot of fans have asked is 'how could a Van Morrison emerge from that background'?  Often his father's record collection has been pointed to, but that explanation is surely only part of the answer.  Van's father's record collection, no matter how good or how seminal, can't possibly explain how Van could become such a music superstar. 

Happy birthday, Van!

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