This person is on display in the Contributing Wrap in the People Gallery

(1941 - )

Born Derek Morrison, DJ Derek got into music in the 1950s as a washboard player in a skiffle group 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 America.  He was on the brink of becoming a professional drummer with the Ramrods, a rock ‘n’ roll group, but instead became an accountant at Cadbury's chocolate factory, until he decided to become a DJ.

The Bamboo Club was where Derek first heard Desmond Dekker, Toots & The Maytals and early Bob Marley for the first time.

Derek started his music career at the ‘Star and Garter’ in 1977, from where his reputation steadily grew. In 2013, he was awarded a local OBE, that is, an ‘Outstanding Bristolian Entertainer’ award at the Harbourside festival. Derek played his last show on New Year’s Eve 2013 in Notting Hill Arts Club aged 72.

In addition to having an encyclopedic knowledge of reggae, soul, rocksteady and dancehall, Derek is a notable fan of real ale and has allegedly visited every single Wetherspoons pub in the UK.

In 2006, He released the album ‘DJ Derek Presents…Sweet Memory Sounds’, a compilation of some of his favourite songs. He has also featured in Dizzee Rascal's music video ‘Dirtee Disco’ playing himself as a DJ in a disco hall.

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