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Derrick Morgan

Derrick Morgan

Biography

Where might Ska be if Derrick Morgan hadn't left his indelible imprint on the genre? Perennially decked out in a pork pie hat and smart, three-button mohair suit, Derrick Morgan began his career playing cover versions of songs by his idol Little Richard, but he quickly moved to embrace the smooth sounds of early Jamaican Ska. His sleek, unruffled vocals added extra cool to his songs, and helped him achieve unparalleled success: Morgan once held all top seven slots on the Jamaican record charts. Not content to rest on his block of hits, the velvet-voiced crooner went on to create albums that stressed innovation, and was even so bold as to meddle with Ska's formula. Slowing its rhythms and tempos to a more languid pace on his later albums, Morgan inadvertently created Rock Steady, and would ultimately be responsible for the first recognized reggae recording, "Seven Letters."

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