Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, Van the Man

On Aug. 26, BBC Radio Ulster will kick off its week-long celebration of Van Morrison's 70th birthday. The numerous programs, features, and events are certain to leave the average Van enthusiast properly satiated. A full schedule can be found right here.

A few of the events yours truly is eagerly anticipating:

Ralph's Top 70 Van Tracks Countdown
Over the course of three days (Aug. 26-28, from 8 to 10 p.m.), Ralph McLean will count down the top songs from Morrison's five-decade-long career. The tracks were chosen by BBC Radio Ulster listeners.

Into the Music
On Aug. 29 at 6 p.m., McLean will host a special concert just one mile from where Morrison grew up. "Into the Music" will take place at the Park Avenue Hotel in East Belfast and will feature a number of local artists, including The 4 Of Us, The Clameens, Anthony Toner, Wookalilly, and Ronnie Greer.

The Story of Them
On Aug. 30 at 2 p.m., Dan Gordon presents "The Story of Them," a documentary tells the story of Morrison and his rhythm & blues band. The program will feature interviews with members and the group's most well-known songs.

Van Morrison: Live on Cyprus Avenue
And finally, on Aug. 31 at 2:45 p.m. (Morrison's birthday), BBC Radio Ulster will exclusively broadcast the artist's 70th birthday concert. The show will take place on Cyprus Avenue, the East Belfast thoroughfare he immortalized on Astral Weeks.

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