Gary Morris sings “Love Lifted Me”

Texas-born country singer Gary Morris is widely known for his 1983 ballad “The Wind Beneath My Wings,” although he is credited with over 25 chart singles and nine studio albums. At a young age, Morris showed interest in his school’s theatre program and had a powerful voice to succeed7. In third grade, he and his twin sister won a talent competition with their rendition of “This Old House.” Gary was also a star athlete throughout high school and accepted an athletic scholarship to Cisco Junior College near Abilene, intending to go on to Texas Tech. However, his passion for music intervened, as it often does, and Morris dedicated his path to sharing his music with the world.
Alongside two college buddies, Morris spent a summer working in Colorado, which would later become his permanent home. The trio asked their bar manager if they could perform on the bandstand and were convinced by the audience’s response and substantial tips to leave college behind and pursue music full-time. Morris made a living performing in local clubs and composing advertising jingles for companies such as Frontier Airlines throughout the early 70’s. In 1976, he joined Jimmy Carter’s presidential campaign and sang for several fundraisers and political events. Upon Carter’s victory, Morris was invited to perform at the White House where Nashville producer, Norro Wilson, happened to be in the audience. As a result, Morris was offered a recording contract with Warner Bros.
After a pair of minor hits landed just inside the top 40 of the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart, he scored his breakthrough hit with “Headed for a Heartache,” which reached No. 8 on the country chart in late 1981. Two follow-up singles also reached the top 15. His album Why Lady Why put Morris at the top of the charts and also inspired him to focus on releasing ballads. This project spawned several Top-10 hits including “The Love She Found in Me” and “The Wind Beneath My Wings.”
In the eighties, Gary hosted several award programs and evening television series.Gary’s grade school performing arts experience led him to success in a theatrical career following the long line of country hits he produced in the music industry. In 1987, He was offered the role of Jean Valjean in the Broadway production of Les Misérables, becoming the first American to play the part in that European musical. Despite his newfound niché in theatre, Gary did not leave country music behind immediately. He recorded 12 country albums in all, including the innovative, mostly acoustic Plain Brown Wrapper, and he notched 16 Top Ten singles.
While trying to hold on to his music career, his theatrical obligations took most of his time and his music did take a hit while Morris was performing on Broadway and even in Russia. He returned to country music in the late 90s as a performer in Branson, MO, and as a producer as well. He also helped his son, Matthew, with his music career and has often performed private concerts for corporate clients. Morris now resides at his own fly-fishing lodge in the Colorado Rockies.
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