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December 13, 2013

Award winning artist to perform in Duncan

DUNCAN — Before “Wind Beneath My Wings” was a hit for Bette Midler, the song won both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music Song of the Year awards for Gary Morris.

Morris is a Texan native who decided upon a career in music while in college and was the first to record the ballad that is known to recognize heroes. The Duncan community will have the chance to see the award-winning artist perform at 7 p.m. today at the Simmons Center.

This will be the second time for Morris to take the Simmons Center stage. He performed as part of the CTAC Live Concert Series in November 2010.

“I’m excited to be back in the area,” said Morris. “This is my last date of the season and I’ll be doing songs some people will recognize.”

Morris’ concert set will include some of his hits from the 1980s, such as “Baby Bye Bye” and “Leave Me Lonely,” a few Christmas season tunes and numbers from Broadway shows. At one time, Morris played opposite Linda Ronstadt in “La Bohéme” and was also the first actor to take the role of Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables.”

“I love doing Broadway stuff because you’re working with really great performers,” he said. “But my preference is always to do my own stuff; the songs I write.”

Each song on “Single Man,” his newest album, was written by Morris and he said he’s excited to be able to perform a few of them in front of the Duncan audience. The CD will be on sale as well as Morris’ first DVD, which is brand new and features footage filmed out on the singer’s Colorado ranch.

“My first love is music but my second love is the outdoor world,” said Morris.

Sponsoring the concert is Billingsly Ford Lincoln of Duncan, where Morris said he bought his last truck from. This connection, as well having family in the area was the artist’s draw to come back to Duncan.

“My brother owns a shop called Morris Motor Shop in Chickasha,” he said. “I get to see my family and get an early Christmas in before heading back to my ranch.”

Coming with Morris will be award-winning musician Jeff Ray and they are to play about a two-hour set. Morris’ last two shows were canceled because of inclement weather, which he said means he’s ready to get back out on stage.

“I’m excited to play and hope people will come check it out,” he said. “I’m lucky. I’ve never really had another job besides music. I’m still at it and I still love it.”

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