Two Greats: Van Morrison and John Ford at Today in Irish History

August 31: TODAY in Irish History:

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Van Morrrison today in irish history

Van Morrison – Illustration at For the Love of Being Irish

Snippets of Irish History by Conor Cunneen IrishmanSpeaks 

Conor is a Chicago based Motivational Humorous Business Speaker, Author and History buff.



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1945: Van Morrison – The Belfast Cowboy

“Van the Man,” Van Morrison is born in Belfast. The Belfast Cowboy first achieved fame with a tight R&B band Them with whom he recorded  Gloria, a song that still as fresh today as in 1964.

Van Morrrison today in irish history

Illustration by Mark Anderson in From the Love of Being Irish by Conor Cunneen


A strong claim could be made that Van Morrison is the finest composer ever produced by the Emerald Isle. His body of work ranges from glorious pop like Brown Eyed Girl, through poignant poetry I’m Tired Joey Boy and Coney Island to some magical mystical work that can only be described as heavenly.

Brown Eyed Girl is in the Grammy Hall of Fame and appears on BMI’s list of most-played radio songs.

Morrison was inducted into the Rock and  Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003 and has won numerous Grammy Awards.

The man who creates often heavenly music  has devilish tendencies. He is a truculent, difficult character whose live performances tend to be a crap shoot where he often ignores his audience. Morrison eschews the trappings of a rock star and was the first living inductee not to attend his own induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!

Trying to determine the best work from Van the Man is a bit like trying to determine the best goal from another Belfast genius George Best, but of Astral Weeks, Bono said “It’s legal drugs, isn’t it?” The album was voted #1 Irish album of all time at




1973: John Ford heads for Boot Hill!

Death of legendary film Director John Ford. Ford was born in Maine in 1894 to Irish immigrant parents. His father was born in Spiddal, Co. Galway and his mother in the Aran Islands.


John Ford at today in Irish history
John Ford 1894-1973


Film site IMDb states “John Ford is, arguably, The Great American Director.” Although born John Martin Feeney, he never forgot his Irish roots.

In For the Love of Being Irish,  author Conor Cunneen writes of Ford and what he did for Irish tourism:

“In Ireland, everyone wishes you a “Top o’ the Morning,” you’ll find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and leprechauns dance on mushrooms while a roguish horse-trader will try and sell you the same horse twice before encouraging you to buy a pint of Guinness and “another one for the brother – he’ll be here soon” before telling you that he has got to go home to “the little woman.”

Or at least that is what John Ford’s homage The Quiet Man to his ancestral home would have you believe. Although, hardly an accurate depiction of Ireland, the 1952 movie is probably the best tourist commercial ever for Ireland. Filmed in County Mayo on the grounds of luxurious Ashford Castle, the magnificent scenery combined with cleverly written romantic comedy encouraged generations of Irish Americans to visit the land of their parents.”


Ford also directed The Informer from a story by Liam O’Flaherty


Trailer for John Ford’s THE INFORMER




WATCH: A Short History of Ireland

Want to learn more about Ireland? See these images and more in the acclaimed For the Love of Being Irish

Irish gift ideas. Best selling Irish booksRonnie Drew and Luke Kelly - Musical Irish Gifts to the worldJoyce Image in For the Love of Being IrishMichael Collins: Image from For the Love of Being Irish


This history is written by Irish author, business keynote speaker and award winning humorist IrishmanSpeaks – Conor Cunneen. If you spot any inaccuracies or wish to make a comment, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the comment button.

Visit Conor’s YouTube channel IrishmanSpeaks to Laugh and Learn.

Tags: Best Irish Gift, Creative Irish Gift, Unique Irish Gifts, Irish Books, Irish Authors, Today in Irish History TODAY IN IRISH HISTORY (published by IrishmanSpeaks)


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