legendary DJ Derek
the standard turntable spinner - DJ Derek|
Derek Morris is
a 64-year-old former accountant from Bristol with a penchant for cardigans and
long subsidised bus journeys.
But Derek has an unlikely alter-ego.
become a cult hero in the world of Jamaican Reggae!
Music has always been
a huge influence on his life.
In fact, he was on the brink of becoming
a professional drummer but somehow accountancy got in the way and he joined Cadburys,
where he worked until 1977.
But his love of music found an outlet at the
Star and Garter pub in the St Pauls area, where he was invited to play his records
for the largely black clientele.
Word quickly spread and as the years went
by, Derek's reputation grew.
DJ in demand
into music in the 1950's as a washboard player in a skiffle band before taking
up the drums.
He didn't like the "wishy washy rock 'n' roll"
of the Fifties, so turned to the R&B sounds coming out of black America.
as an accountant at Cadbury's chocolate factory, until he took the unusual step
of becoming a DJ.
Heavily influenced by his 1950's Jamaican and British
upbringing. He began to explore the "Sweet Memory Sounds" of ska and
DJ Derek's blend of reggae, dub and ska has made him an icon for
several Jamaican producers and Massive Attack.
DJ Derek MCs in Jamaican
Much of his vast record collection came from
weekly shopping trips to a specialist importer of Jamaican music in London.
the records outgrew his flat, so Derek spent something like two and a half years
recording 32,000 tracks onto hundreds of minidiscs.
Although Derek no longer
plays at the Star and Garter, he's still very much in demand.
I've got two, shortly to be three, residencies in London - thats the Notting
Hill Art Club on the first Tuesday of the month.
"And I work regularly
in places like Newport, Totnes, Birmingham.
"And then when the festival
season comes along I do Big Chill, the Shambala, Secret Garden I think
I did seven festivals last year."
month Derek is bringing out a CD of some of his favourite tracks.
on the decks - DJ Derek is a cult hero|
He says he's never
had anything but encouragement from the black community in St Pauls.
always said, 'go for it Derek, spread the music', and thats been very heartening
"I'm the happiest man I know I wouldnt change
places with anyone else on earth."
Fans can find his CD, DJ Derek
Presents Sweet Memory Sounds, on
Trojan Records from 20 February 2006.
tracklisting includes artists such as Toots and The Maytals, Junior Murvin, Max
Romeo and Gregory Isaacs.
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