Saturday, February 11, 2012
Derek Morgan/Owen Gray
A curious single having two different solo singers on either side of the disc fronting the Prince Buster'a backing band."Headache" is a very odd sounding ska tune with gutteral growlings by an unknown. Recorded in 1965.I imagine the "A" side would be by Owen Gray and seems to refer to another popular singer of the time, Millie Small.
Wikipedia says of Derek Morgan -
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", a.k.a. "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 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 "You Don't 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.
"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 the sarcastic put-down, "I did not know your parents were from Hong Kong" – a 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 the two artists often clashed, and eventually the government had to step in with a staged photo shoot depicting the rivals as friends."
Wikipedia says of Owen Gray -
"Gray won his first talent contest at the age of nine, and by the age of twelve he was already appearing in public, playing drums, guitar, and keyboards. He attended the Alpha Boys School and turned professional aged 19. Gray was a dynamic performer on stage, who could be gritty or suave as the song dictated. He was the first singer (of many) to praise a sound system on record, with his "On the Beach" celebrating Clement Dodd's Sir Coxsone Downbeat system in 1959, one of the first releases on Dodd's Studio One label. He was one of the first artists to be produced by Chris Blackwell, in 1960, and his "Patricia" single was the first record ever released by Island Records. His first single, "Please Let Me Go", reached the top of the charts in Jamaica, and featured a guitar solo from Ernest Ranglin (Ranglin's first recording session). The single also sold well in the United Kingdom, as did subsequent releases, prompting Gray to emigrate there in 1962. He toured Europe in 1964, and by 1966 he was well known as a soul singer as well as for his ska songs. In the rocksteady era, he recorded for producer Sir Clancy Collins. His popularity continued throughout the 1960s, working with producers such as Clement Dodd, Prince Buster, Arthur "Duke" Reid, Leslie Kong, and Clancy Eccles, including work as a duo with Millie Small, with songs ranging from ska to ballads. He continued to record regularly, having a big hit in 1968 with "Cupid". His 1970 track "Apollo 12" found favour with the early skinheads, and in 1972 he returned to Island Records, recording reggae versions of The Rolling Stones' "Tumblin' Dice" and John Lennon's "Jealous Guy", although they met with little success. During this period, he regularly had releases on Pama and sister label, Camel Records, and one single on Hot Lead Records. He had greater success in Jamaica, however, with "Hail the Man", a tribute to Emperor Haile Selassie, which was popular with the increasing Rastafari following. Gray spent a short time living in New Orleans before returning to Jamaica where he turned his hand to roots reggae, working with producer Bunny Lee, and achieving considerable success. In the 1980s relocated to Miami. He has continued to release new material regularly, often concentrating on ballads and Gospel music."
Derek Morgan - Headache
Owen Gray - Millie Girl