Eric GÇÿMontyGÇÖ Morris is recognised in Jamaica, alongside Laurel Aitken and Derrick Morgan as a primal ska performer. In 1961 he recorded a medley of nursery rhymes as GÇÿHumpty DumptyGÇÖ providing the vocals to Arkland Drumbago Parks All Star BandGÇÖs shuffling beat. The song proved a phenomenal success and is regarded as pivotal in the progress of Jamaican music, introducing the emphasis on the half beat in comparison to earlier local recordings which simply mirrored American R&B. Morris recorded an abundance of hits throughout the first half of the 60s, most notably GÇÿWhat A Man DoethGÇÖ, GÇÿSammy DeadGÇÖ, GÇÿMoney CanGÇÖt Buy LifeGÇÖ, GÇÿInto My GardenGÇÖ, GÇÿEnna BellaGÇÖ and GÇÿA Little More Oil In My LampGÇÖ. At the beginning of the Jamaican music industry many singers received a single fee for their performance in the studio. This motivated singers to record for anyone who would pay. Morris was no exception, and he recorded several tracks including GÇÿSeek And You Will FindGÇÖ, GÇÿHome Sweet HomeGÇÖ and GÇÿRiver Come DownGÇÖ for Vincent Edwards. The singer also found success with Leslie Kong who released the favoured GÇÿSolomon A GundyGÇÖ alongside GÇÿSampson Was The Strongest ManGÇÖ, while sessions with Neremiah Reid resulted in GÇÿWords Of WisdomGÇÖ, GÇÿSupper In The GutterGÇÖ and GÇÿWords Of My MouthGÇÖ. In the latter half of the 60s several commentators considered that while Morris was an esteemed ska singer he would not adapt to the new sound of rocksteady. Adding the GÇÿMontyGÇÖ tag to his name the singer, although not as prolific, proved the critics were mistaken with the sublime, GÇÿSay IGÇÖm BackGÇÖ and the defiant GÇÿLast LaughGÇÖ. By 1970 Morris had left Jamaica, and did not return until 1998 when he was invited to appear at the monthly Startime Show Series held in Halfway Tree. Morris was discovered in New York by Max Romeo who sought out the ska legend to perform at his show. The singer had not performed live for over 15 years although critics were in agreement that his appearance was the highlight of the event.Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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