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Happy Birthday, Van Morrison!

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​The eternal soul of Van Morrison meets us like an old friend each time we drop the needle on such classic albums as Astral Weeks or Moondance. Those works embody mysterious, penetrating beauty that we listeners grow to appreciate more and more as we go through life, realizing their depth and what special musical achievements they are. Many of us though, have been hanging out with Van Morrison for long before we encountered his mystical work of the '70s.

Children of the '80s, '90s and today are likely to have heard "Brown Eyed Girl" 10,000 times before the age of ten -- on the radio while sitting in the back seat of the car, in the restaurant while the guy in the corner with the guitar sings with Casio accompaniment, on TV shows and movies, etc. It is probably common to know all of the words to that song before knowing the name of the guy who wrote it.

That's why, to celebrate "Van the Man's" 66th birthday, we are going to share with you 66 YouTube videos of local South Florida bar musicians singing "Brown Eyed Girl." Just kidding! As classic as the tune is, we are going to opt for some of his other timeless music to mark the passage of time. 

So, here are six choice videos of Van doing his transcendental beauty-thing on stage. The vids span the last four decades -- though there is a bias towards the mid-'70s -- to show how he's come along since he broke it big with "Brown Eyed Girl" in '67. Happy birthday, Van Morrison!

The closing song from Side 1 of Astral Weeks performed beautifully in 1973 with the Caledonian Soul Orchestra from the tour which produced the music on the It's Too Late to Stop Now live album. 


             


Another Astral Weeks song. This performance is from his famed performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1980.

            



One of the great songs from Moondance, perhaps THE great Van Morrison song, performed with a small group on the German TV show Musikladen in 1974. 

            



And another one from Moondance, performed here with The Band as part of the Last Waltz--The Band's last concert as documented by Martin Scorsese. 



Like many musicians, Van Morrison survived the 80's. Here he is celebrating that in NYC '89 with his spiritual classic "In the Garden."



And here is what the old man is up to in this millennium. This song is from 2003's What's Wrong with this Picture?, performed here at Austin City Limits in 2006. Check out 'Van the Man' on the sax!




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