Morgan - Lifetime
Achievement Award 2004 ReggaeSoca Music Awards
During the Fifties the
Jamaican record industry had been born. At the beginning of the decade one
Stanley Motta had recorded examples of the Jamaican calypso form known as
mento. Soon after, with the transformation of black rhythm and blues into
white rock & roll becoming almost complete, Jamaican producers and
artist created their own copies of R&B. This newly created copy of
R&B, acquired its own distinct sound that would make it unique to
Jamaica. The new sound became the essential ingredient in developing
the musical form, later became known as Ska. The first form of Ska was
launched in 1959 with the creation of Derrick Morgan's "Lover
Jamaica had borne its new
musical form. However, the foundation of Jamaican music did not solidify
without one main influence and kernel, Derrick Morgan, Derrick Morgan is
one of the best known Jamaican artists coming from the History of
Ska, Rocksteady and Reggae.
Derrick was born March I
940, in the district of Stewarton in the Parish of Clarendon. Before
migrating to Kingston to reside with his mother, Mable Gayle, Derrick
spent three years in the countryside.
Derrick heard of an
acclaimed sound systems operator Duke Reid, who was looking for artists to
record on his Treasure Isle label. Derrick wrote and performed two songs,
'Lover Boy' (a.k.a. 'S, Corner Rock') and 'Oh My,' which Duke Reid decided
to record. The songs played on the radio and became popular with the
listening audiences. Derrick auditioned for another producer, L. S.
'Little Wonder' Smith. The song auditioned and recorded was 'Fat Man,'
which became an immediate hit on the island. From then on there was no
looking back for Derrick. Many producers sought after Derrick, eager to
cash in on the singer's popularity. Derrick recorded a few more songs with
Smith before recording for the legendary Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd. Hits
continued to follow Derrick such as 'Leave Earth' and 'Wee Wigger
In 1966, Derrick created the first Rock Steady form of Jamaican music, "Tougher Than Tough." The song was recorded at Dynamic Studios in a session containing members as: Lynn Taitt (guitar), Bryan Atkinson (bass), Joe Isaacs (drums) and Gladstone Anderson (piano). Within this song, Derrick acts the part of the fearsome Judge Dread, handing out sentences to the rude boys, played by Desmond and George Dekker. With the creativity of Derrick Morgan and the ingenuity of Lynn Taitt, Jamaican music took on a new form. Lynn Taitt, originally from Trinidad, along with his band called The Jets, introduced a new guitar style, that when he strummed the strings, he also picked a bass line that he gave to the bass player, Atkin, Atkin now applied a pattern with the bass line, instead of playing a straight string bass line, as in Ska. This style and pattern eventually slowed the fast tempo of Ska. Consequently, people danced differently to the new form. The people would now rock to the bass line; thus, the name of the Music was changed from Ska to Rocksteady. Derrick Morgan's "Tougher Than Tough" was the first song to be recorded with the new Rocksteady rhythm, and so it was established that the first Rocksteady song was created by Derrick Morgan. Therefore, Rocksteady evolved from Lynn Taitt's attempt to play Ska, but his Trinidadian calypso influence accidentally contributed to the formation of Ska.