Reggae Veterans Monty Morris and The Tennors Embarking on a Mini Tour
by Howard Campbell
SOUTH FLORIDA – As he left the stage to rapturous applause at the Coral Springs Center For The Performing Arts in South Florida last March, Eric “Monty” Morris managed a genial smile.
The singer delivered a performance that belied his 80 years and was one of the stars of Reggae Meets Soul, which also featured J C Lodge and Russell Thompkins Jr. And The New Stylistics.
That set impressed several people and in July, Morris and fellow veterans The Tennors, will embark on a mini tour of the United States, Europe and South America.
The opening date is July 1 in London where he has never performed. One week later, they are in Germany.
On August 5, The Tennors and Morris are scheduled to perform in Los Angeles.
Clive Murphy, founder of The Tennors (best known for 1960s classics like Ride yu Donkey and Pressure And Slide) organized the shows. A longtime friend of Morris, he is happy to know the ska great is finally getting a break.
“I feel good for him. He was dormant for some years until I brought him back for Heineken Startime (a popular Jamaican oldies show) in 1998. From (Reggae Meets Soul) he has generated a lot of activity,” said Murphy.
Morris, like Murphy, is a longtime South Florida resident. He has lived in the United States since the 1970s and once settled in the San Diego area.
Along with Derrick Morgan and Prince Buster, Morris began his career before the ska craze of the early 1960s. His first hit song, Humpty Dumpty, was released in 1961, followed by the ska ditties Sammy Dead Oh, Wings of A Dove and Oil in my Lamp.
His star faded as Jamaican music evolved into rock steady, although he had a big hit in 1968 with Say What You’re Saying, which was later covered by Dennis Brown.
The Tennors — who are promoting Whodunit, their new album — and Eric “Monty” Morris are expected to perform in Mexico on October 28. They have separate gigs lined-up for Colombia in November.