Derrick Morgan Live

Derrick Morgan captured in action at the former NYC nightclub Tramps. (1995)

In 1995 Morgan was part of a Heartbeat Records tour which included Michael Rose,
The Meditations and Sister Carol.

Derrick was among the first Jamaican singers to record. He began cutting tunes for Duke Reid’s Sound System, then for Simeon L. Smith and Clement Dodd. His “Leave Earth”, done for Dodd, was aimed at Duke Reid and hit its mark, becoming a favorite on Dodd sets in 1960. Morgan was also among the first artists Leslie Kong chose to record for his new Beverley’s label in 1962. He had the labels first hits with “Be Still” and “Sunday, Monday”. Morgan also held auditions for Kong and selected a young new singer James ‘Jimmy Cliff’ Chambers to do some recording for the label.

Morgan had been a resident of Florida until the 1990’s. Since then, his career has enjoyed a resurgence and he and his family have returned to his birth parish of Clarendon, Jamaica. There they’ve built a spectacular new home in Freetown. In fact, the Morgan’s return was so welcomed that area residents backed a new street name, Derrick Morgan Close!

I want to thank my good friend and ska aficionado Brian Keyo for his guest posting on the blog. He has a few more ska related post coming in the future so stay tuned.

(bkeyo@tallawah.com)

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