Derrick Morgan

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Derrick Morgan (born 27 March 1940, Mocho, Clarendon Parish, Jamaica) is a musical artist popular in the 1960s and 1970s. He worked with Desmond Dekker, Bob Marley, and Jimmy Cliff in the ska genre, and he also performed rocksteady and skinhead reggae. In 1957, Morgan entered the Vere Johns Opportunity Hour, a talent show held at the Palace Theatre in Kingston. He won with rousing impressions of Little Richard, and shortly after that, was recruited to perform around the island with the popular Jamaican comedy team, Bim and Bam. In 1959, Morgan entered the recording studio for the first time. Duke Reid, the acclaimed sound system boss, was looking for talent to record for his Treasure Isle record label. Morgan cut two popular shuffle-boogie sides "Lover Boy", aka "S-Corner Rock", and "Oh My". Soon after, Morgan cut the bolero tinged boogie, "Fat Man", which also became a hit. He also found time to record for Coxsone Dodd. In 1960, Morgan became the first artist to fill the places from one to number seven on national pop chart simultaneously, a feat that to this day has never been matched. Among those hits were "Don't Call Me Daddy", "In My Heart", "Be Still" and "Meekly Wait and Murmur Not". But it would be the following year that Morgan would release the biggest hit of his career, the Leslie Kong production of "You Don't Know", later re-titled, "Housewives? Choice" by a local DJ. The song featured a bouncing ska riddim, along with a duet sung by Morgan and Millicent "Patsy" Todd. "Housewives? Choice" began the legendary rivalry between Morgan and Prince Buster, who accused Morgan of stealing his ideas. Buster quickly released, "Blackhead Chiney Man", chiding Morgan with that sarcastic putdown of, "I did not know your parents were from Hong Kong", a clear swipe at Kong. Morgan returned with the classic, "Blazing Fire", in which he warns Buster to "Live and let others live, and your days will be much longer. You said it. Now it?s the Blazing Fire". Buster shot back with, "Watch It Blackhead" which Morgan countered with, "No Raise No Praise" and "Still Insist". Followers of both artists often clashed, and eventually the government had to step in with a staged photo shoot depicting the rivals as 'friends'. In the mid 1960s, when ska evolved into the cooler, more soulful rocksteady period, Morgan continued to release top quality material, including the seminal rude boy classic, "Tougher Than Tough", "Do the Beng Beng", "Conquering Ruler", and a cover of Ben E. King?s soul hit, "Seven Letters". Produced by Bunny Lee, the latter is often cited as the first true reggae single. In 1969, Morgan cut the famous skinhead anthem, "Moon Hop" (on Crab Records). However, failing eyesight then forced him from the stage, but Morgan still performs occasionally at ska revival shows across the world. Often backed by the guitarist, Lynn Taitt, Morgan remained popular in Jamaica and the UK into the early 1970s. He has lived primaily in either the UK or the U.S. since the late 1960s. In July 2002 in Toronto, Canada, a two night 'Legends of Ska' concert was held. Reuniting were The Skatalites, Lloyd Knibbs, Rico Rodriguez, Lloyd Brevett, Lester Sterling, Johnny Moore and Lynn Taitt; along with Prince Buster, Alton Ellis, Owen Gray, Lord Creator, Justin Hinds, Derrick Harriott, Winston Samuels, Roy Wilson, Patsy Todd, Doreen Shaffer, Stranger Cole, Lord Tanamo and Derrick Morgan. In 2007, Morgan appeared on the bill at the annual Augustibuller festival. His song "Tougher Than Tough" was featured in the video game, Scarface: The World is Yours.