Derrick Morgan (born 27 March 1940) is a Jamaican musical artist popular in the 1960s and 1970s. He worked with Desmond Dekker, Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff in the rhythm and blues and ska genres, and he also performed rocksteady and skinhead reggae.
In 1960 Morgan became the only artist ever to fill the places from one to seven on the Jamaican pop chart simultaneously. Among those hits were "Don't Call Me Daddy", "In My Heart", "Be Still", and "Meekly Wait and Murmur Not". But it was the following year that Morgan released the biggest hit of his career, the Leslie Kong production of "Don't You Know", later retitled "Housewives' Choice" by a local DJ. The song featured a bouncing ska riddim, along with a duet by Morgan and Millicent "Patsy" Todd.
In the mid-1960s, when ska evolved into rocksteady, Morgan continued to release top quality material, including the seminal rude boy songs, "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, "Seven Letters" is often cited as the first true reggae single. In 1969 Morgan recorded the skinhead anthem "Moon Hop" (on Crab Records). However, failing eyesight then forced him to give up regular stage appearances. Morgan still performs occasionally at ska revival shows across the world – often backed by the guitarist Lynn Taitt. He remained popular in Jamaica and the UK into the early 1970s, and has lived primarily in the UK or the US since the late 1960s..... (Read more)
Links to Peel
JP played Morgan's music with a fair degree of regularity throughout the 80s and onwards, although as yet there is no evidence as to whether or not he played his music previous to 1979. The bolero-tinged Fat Man is cited by John as one of his anthems, a wry and frequently-repeated reference to his weight.
The 1969 single Moon Hop (released to celebrate the Apollo 11 landings) featured the Rudies as backing: they would record a session for Peel the following year. In 2002, the track would feature on the Peel compilation CD FabricLive.07.
Festive Fifty Entries
Other Shows Played
- 05 December 1979 (Virgin In-Store): Moonhop (Single) Pama
- 12 December 1979: The First Taste of Love (single, 1969) Crab
- 22 December 1979 (BFBS): The First Taste Of Love (split 7" with Tartans - The First Taste Of Love / Dance All Night) Crab
- 21 February 1980: Moon Hop (7") Crab
- 19 February 1980 (Virgin In-Store): Moon Hop (7") Crab (JP: 'Lots of blood in the shop after that, I hope.')
- 20 February 1980: 'Man Pon Moon (7 inch)' (Crab)
- 11 October 1982: Do The Beng Beng (7")
- 30 November 1982: Don't Call Me Daddy (7") Ska Beat
- 05 January 1983 (BFBS): Woman A Grumble (7") Pyramid
- 16 May 1988: Fat Man (LP - Seven Letters) Trojan (JP: 'And from Derrick Morgan, well my signature tune, well one of them.')
- 01 June 1988 (Rockradio): Fat Man (LP - Seven Letters) Trojan
- 28 February 1989: Tougher Than Tough (Rudie's Don't Fear) (v/a album - Pressure Drop - Island Celebrates 25 Years Of Jamaican Music) Mango
- 07 August 1993: ‘Cool Off Rudies (CD – Rudies All Round: Rude Boy Records 66-67)’ (Trojan Records)
- 18 November 1997: Moon Hop (split 7" with Reggaeites - Moon Hop / Harris Wheel) Crab
- 28 January 1998: Make It Tand Deay (7") Crab
- January 1998 (FSK): Make It Tand Deay
- 05 February 1998: Make It Tand Deay (7") (Crab) (JP: 'That's Derrick Morgan on Crab Records from millions of years ago, 'Make It Tand Deay' is the somewhat mystifying title of it, but I think it's something to do with front bottoms, but I'm not absolutely certain. But then... let's move on.')
- 09 September 1999: Moon Hop (7” single) Trybute reissue
- 31 January 2001: Do The Beng Beng (7") Pyramid
- 22 February 2001: Under Heavy Manners (7") Justice
- 22 February 2001 (Radio Eins): Do The Beng Beng
- February 2001 (FSK): Under Heavy Manners (7") Third World
- 20 January 2004: I'm The Ruler (Album, Comp.: Red Bumb Ball - Rare And Unreleased Rocksteady 1966 - 1968) Pressure Sounds