BLACKFOOT — Since the early 1980s, the voice of Country Music Legend Gary Morris has transcended season and setting. Saturday, that voice will treat fans of great music to ‘An Evening With Gary Morris’. The concert will kick off the Fall/Winter concert series at the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Morris, recording for Warner Brothers, MCA/Universal and Liberty records, produced five number one hits, including the widely popular “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
The trip to Blackfoot is not Morris’ first trip to Southeastern Idaho.
“I learned to fly fish in Idaho at the knees of an uncle and have a sister who lives up north in Coeur d’Alene,” said Morris during a phone interview. “This will be like a homecoming for me in a lot of ways as I have a love of fly fishing that was spawned in Idaho. This love of the outdoors and fishing spurred me to purchase a fly fishing lodge and retreat in Southern Colorado where I try and spend some of my free time.”
The unbridled passion with which Morris performs and the sheer beauty and magnificence of his voice will reach out to concert goers, who will remember his decade-long run singing the theme for the television soap opera ‘Another World.’
Preferring not to rest on his laurels after winning both the CMA (County Music Association) and the Academy of Country Music’s awards for Song of The Year with “Wind Beneath My Wings”, Morris boldly stepped into the world of Broadway to play opposite Linda Rhonstadt in a New York production of Puccini’s opera ‘La Boheme’.
“A country singer with no formal musical training attempting Broadway” scoffed critics. They were soon silenced as Morris took the opera world by storm with a performance that was nothing short of magnificent.
His performance in La Boheme led to other offers from Broadway, where Morris eventually accepted the role of Jean Val Dean in “Les Miserables”, one of the longest-running plays in Broadway history.
“As the first American to play the role of Val Dean, I was treated like a bastard child,” recalls Morris. “After being successful in the role and proving that someone from this country could reprise the role, other doors were opened for me both professionally and personally.”
Morris has had many acting credits to his credit, in addition to the dozen albums and 16 Top Ten singles. He has had recurring roles on television series such as Mike Hammer, The Colby’s and Designing Women and has produced and hosted a long running program on the Nashville Network’s North American Sportsman.
“I am sure that taking on the different projects like television and Broadway probably took a little away from some of my country musical pursuits,” said Morris. “The doors that were opened to me professionally allowed me to grow as a performer and for someone who had no formal training in music was probably what opened a lot of eyes in the critics. I mean look at me, I am a country boy from Texas who started out playing his guitar on the back of a pickup.”
Fans in Blackfoot will be treated to a performance which will include his many hit recordings, requests from the audience and Gospel hymns -- something for everyone.
“I’m going to show up with my guitar and play and sing what the people want,” said Morris. “Hopefully I will be in good voice and will touch the hearts and souls of those attending and the people will want me back in Blackfoot. There is nothing that I would like more than to be able to return in the future with my Christmas program and entourage and put on another show for Idaho.”
Tickets remain available for the Saturday performance. For more information, contact the BPAC at 317-5508.