Best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band The Doors, TheAmerican musician, singer, and poet James Douglas “Jim” Morrison was Born December 8, 1943 Morrison studied Cinematography at UCLA before graduating in 1965 and forming The Doors with a fellow student Ray Manzarek. Thereafter, drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger joined. The musicians, apart from Morrison, also shared a common interest in the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s meditation practices.
Morrison began writing during his adolescence. At UCLA he studied the related fields of theater, film, and cinematography. He self-published two separate volumes of his poetry in 1969, entitled The Lords / Notes on Vision and The New Creatures. The Lords consists primarily of brief descriptions of places, people, events and Morrison’s thoughts on cinema., but The New Creatures verses are more poetic in tone. Jim Morrison’s vocal influences included Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, which is evident in his own baritone crooning style used in several of The Doors songs. It is mentioned that Morrison as a teenager was such a fan of Presley’s music that he demanded people be quiet when Elvis was on the radio. The Frank Sinatra influence is mentioned in the pages of “The Doors, The Illustrated History”, where Frank Sinatra is listed on Morrison’s Band Bio as being his favorite singer. Morrison was also well-known for often improvising spoken word poetry passages while the band played live.
The Doors were an American rock band formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. The band got its name, at Morrison’s suggestion from the title of Aldous Huxley’s book The Doors of Perception, which itself was a reference to a quote made by William Blake, “If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.”The Doors achieved national recognition after signing with Elektra Records in 1967. The single “Light My Fire” spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in July/August 1967.Later, The Doors appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, a popular Sunday night variety series that had introduced The Beatles and Elvis Presley to the United States. Ed Sullivan requested two songs from The Doors for the show, “People Are Strange”, and “Light My Fire”. They were unique and among the most controversial and influential rock acts of the 1960s, mostly because of Morrison’s lyrics and charismatic but unpredictable stage persona. . The Doors released eight albums between 1967 and 1971. All but one hit the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 and went platinum or better. Their self-titled debut album (1967) was their first in a series of Top 10 albums in the United States, followed by Strange Days (also 1967), Waiting for the Sun (1968), The Soft Parade (1969), Morrison Hotel (1970), Absolutely Live (1970) and L.A. Woman (1971), with 20 Gold, 14 Platinum, 5 Multi-Platinum and 1 Diamond album awards in the United States alone. By the end of 1971, it was reported that the Doors had sold 4,190,457 albums domestically and 7,750,642 singles. The band had three million-selling singles in the U.S. with “Light My Fire”, “Hello, I Love You” and “Touch Me”.
Sadly though Morrison tragically died in Paris on July 3 1971 at the age of 27 after developing a severe alcohol and drug dependency although The exact cause of his death is sill disputed by many to this day and continues to be the subject of controversy, and although A Heroin overdose seems likely no autopsy was performed on his body after death. After Morrison’s death in 1971, the remaining members continued as a trio until disbanding in 1973 And releasd two albums Other Voices and Full Circle with Manzarek and Krieger sharing lead vocals. The three members also collaborated on the spoken word recording of Morrison’s An American Prayer in 1978 and on the “Orange County Suite” for a 1997 boxed set. Manzarek, Krieger and Densmore reunited in 2000 for an episode of VH1’s “Storytellers” and subsequently recorded Stoned Immaculate: The Music of The Doors with a variety of vocalists. In 2002, Manzarek and Krieger started playing together again, renaming themselves as the Doors of the 21st Century, with Ian Astbury of the Cult on vocals. Densmore opted to sit out and, along with the Morrison estate, sued the duo over proper use of the band’s name and won. After a short time as Riders On the Storm, they settled on the name Manzarek-Krieger and continued to tour until Manzarek’s death in 2013 at the age of 74.
Although the Doors’ active career ended in 1973, their popularity has persisted. According to the RIAA, they have sold 33 million certified units in the US and over 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. The Doors have been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone, which ranked them 41st on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time” and Three of the band’s studio albums, the self-titled debut, L.A. Woman, and Strange Days, were featured in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, at positions 42, 362, and 407 respectively. According to The Washington Post’s Martin Weil, the band rose to the center of the counterculture of the 1960s. The Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993.
Due to his wild personality and performances, Morrison is also regarded by some people as one of the most iconic, charismatic and pioneering frontmen and continues to remain, one of the most popular and influential singer-songwriters in rock history. The Doors’ catalog has also become a unequivocal staple of classic rock radio stations. To this day Morrison is widely regarded as the prototypical rock-star: surly, sexy, scandalous and mysterious. The leather pants he was fond of wearing both onstage and off have since become stereotyped as rock-star apparel. In 2011, a Rolling Stone readers’ pick placed Jim Morrison in fifth place of the magazine’s “Best Lead Singers of All Time”. Morrison was ranked number 47 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, and number 22 on Classic Rock Magazine’s “50 Greatest Singers In Rock”