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Derrick & Patsy

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Derrick & Patsy were Jamaica's first boy-girl vocal duo, and across the early '60s they cut a stream of hit singles that were equally heavy-hitters among Britain's West Indian community. Derrick Morgan was already a studio veteran, recording his first song -- and hit -- in 1959, "Lover Boy." Millicent "Patsy" Todd was an unknown, helped to stardom by her mother. She approached Morgan on Orange Street in 1960, urging him to come hear her daughter sing. Morgan agreed, accompanied her home, and there the young Todd hummed him a few lines of a gospel number. Inspired, he penned a song for the singer on the spot, "Love Not to Brag." The pair took the number to Treasure Isle, and although it swept through the sound systems, producer Duke Reid only released it on disc in 1962. The duo's follow-up, "Feel So Fine," a version of a Shirley & Lee hit, was another sound system smash, which Reid released in 1961 and promptly licensed to Blue Beat in the U.K. Their cover of "Let the Good Times Roll" proved just as popular. Even as Reid held back their singles, Derrick & Patsy kept recording for him. "Baby Please Don't Leave Me," "I Wish I Were an Apple," "Oh Shirley," "You Done Me Wrong," and "You I Love" were among the songs that landed on disc between 1961 and 1962. Eventually, though, Morgan had enough, and he and Todd left. Making the studio rounds, the duo cut "Will You Marry Me" for Vincent Chin and "Crying in the Chapel," "Give Me Back," and "Tears on My Pillow" for R. Robinson. Then it was Prince Buster's turn, and another string of fine singles arrived including "Hold Me," "Troubles," and "Want My Baby." The duo then moved on to Beverley's, where they cut their most enduring single. The song was called "You Don't Know" in the studio, although it arrived at Jamaican radio on a blank disc. It was listeners' avid response, however, that provided its permanent title, "Housewife's Choice." While phone lines lit up at Jamaica's broadcasting station, Leslie Kong and Morgan were inundated by slings and arrows from an infuriated Prince, who accused saxophonist Felix "Deadly" Headley of plagiarizing the solo from one of his singles. The ensuing feud, however, did not spill into the duo's realm. A series of fine 45s soon followed, all picked up by Island in the U.K., before Buster bribed Morgan back to his side, accompanied by Todd of course. "Thank You," "Where Have You Been," and the retaliatory "Stab in the Back" soon hit the streets. When the Prince took Morgan to Britain in 1963, where they recorded for Blue Beat, Todd remained behind, and the duo came to an abrupt end. She chose not to stand by her absent man, instead immediately pairing up with Stranger Cole for another flood of hits. Derrick & Patsy's success cannot be understated, and whether cooing like lovebirds or causing each other heartache, Jamaica couldn't get enough of their music. The pair's popularity lingered on, and to this day they are still regularly and fondly recalled. ~ Jo-Ann Greene

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