Eric "Monty" Morris

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Eric "Monty" Morris (born c.1942)[1] is a ska singer, considered to be one of the foundation artists of original ska.[citation needed]


Morris grew up in the Trench Town area of Kingston and like many singers of the era, Morris started by competing in talent contests in the early 1950s, including Vere Johns' Opportunity Hour, and made his first recording with Derrick Morgan.[2] Morris went on to record several singles for Prince Buster and Duke Reid and was the original vocalist for The Skatalites. He also recorded as a duo with Roy Panton. Morris had a hit in 1961 with the song "Humpty Dumpty". In the wake of two big Jamaican hits with "Sammy Dead Oh" and "Oil in My Lamp" he performed in the United States at the 1964 New York World's Fair as part of a Jamaican group of musicians that also included Millie Small, Jimmy Cliff, and Byron Lee & the Dragonaires.[3][4] He later recorded for Clancy Eccles in 1968, including the hit "Say What You're Saying",[3] and for Lee "Scratch" Perry in 1969.[5]

In the late 1970s, Morris emigrated to the United States, living in Washington DC and San Diego before settling in Florida in the early 2000s.[1] In 1998 he returned to Jamaica to perform at the Heineken Startime show.[1] As of 2016 he was still performing regularly.[1]

His "Enna Bella" was used in the soundtrack of the 2003 Jim Jarmusch film Coffee and Cigarettes.[6] His music has been included on many ska and reggae compilations.


  1. ^ a b c d Campbell, Howard (2016) "Eric 'Monty' Morris to perform at Grace Jerk Festival", Jamaica Observer, 12 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016
  2. ^ Peter I (2004), "What a Man Doeth: Interview with Monty Morris",, retrieved 2010-07-20.
  3. ^ a b Katz, David (2003), Solid Foundation, Bloomsbury, ISBN 0-7475-6847-2, pp. 57, 100.
  4. ^ O'Brien Chang, Kevin & Chen, Wayne (1998), Reggae Routes: The Story of Jamaican Music, Ian Randle, ISBN 976-8100-67-2, p. 90
  5. ^ Thompson, Dave (2002), Reggae & Caribbean Music, Backbeat Books, ISBN 0-87930-655-6, p. 427.
  6. ^ Coffee and Cigarettes (2003) - Soundtracks

External links

  • Official Myspace website
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