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IN the summer of 1981 when he made the pop charts in the United States and Europe with I’ll Do Anything For You, Denroy Morgan assured himself a place in the history books.

The song’s success earned him a deal with RCA Records, the first Jamaican artist signed to that major American label. It paved the way for Jamaican acts such as Yellowman who got deals with other American record companies in that decade.

MORGAN… this is my ‘livity’ I’m telling people about

To many in the contemporary music world, Morgan is best known as patriarch of the Morgan Heritage band. However, he is quick to point out that there is more to him than music, which is the focus of his autobiography Confession Aloud, scheduled to be released by American publishing company Hanover House in February.

“This is my ‘livity’ I’m telling people about. It’s the story of a youth who born into ‘sufferation’ in Clarendon, go to America when him 19 an’ do well for himself an’ him family,” Morgan told the Sunday Observer recently.

Confession Aloud is actually an update of Shepherd Is A Man, a 2011 memoir Morgan says he pulled from the shelves because it was incomplete. The revised edition is written with his longtime associate Astor Val-Hackett, and contains a “new testament” of personal incidents like his arrest for ganja possession in New York City two years ago.

Morgan, 67, says he has no problem talking about that brush with the law. He was charged with possession of marijuana but was cleared in December 2011.

“That was a manifestation of the Almighty,” says Morgan, who openly supports legalisation of ganja.

Looking dapper in a khaki outfit and a fedora, Morgan speaks with conviction about his religious beliefs, describing himself as a “Christian, Israelite and Rastafarian.” The eldest of 10 children, he was born in May Pen, Clarendon into a Christian family, but by 1975, he had settled in Brooklyn, New York and exposed to different religious forms.

Morgan Heritage

Morgan Heritage

That year, the diminutive Morgan says he was overcome by a spiritual awakening and accepted the Rastafarian faith. His conversion came at a time of personal challenges and he credits the epiphany for a new lease on life that also changed the focus of his music.

At the time, Morgan was a singer with the Black Eagles Band, a regular on the New York City club scene. He got the breakthrough as a solo act in 1981 with I’ll Do Anything For You, a horn-hooked funk jam that reverberated throughout the Big Apple before taking off in other parts of the United States and Europe.

Morgan was signed briefly to RCA, recording the album Make My Day which was driven by the title song.

He has a new album in the works, recorded with the Anthem band which is based in Bridgeport, Connecticut. For now, however, he simply wants to tell his story through Confession Aloud.

“I would love to reach as many people as possible with this book. It is going to answer a lot of questions.”


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