Rough Guide To Calypso Gold - Rough Guide To Calypso Gold

Rough Guide To Calypso Gold - Rough Guide To Calypso Gold

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You now have in your hands a collection of very rare calypso recordings from the dawn of the recording era. The first mention of ‘Calypso’ comes from a dance, described by Abbé Masse in 1882. Otherwise, most scholars who have tried to trace the story of calypso agree that the word itself is not connected with the divinity who lured Homer’s Odysseus to her island. The origins of the word are not clear and scholars debate this with no definitive answer. The name possibly began with the French carrouseaux and went through patois and Anglicization — carrisseaux, calisseaux, caliso and finally to ‘calypso’. There are also suggestions that the name originated with exclamations of encouragement to the singer by the chorus or audience or both. But, whatever process brought the word ‘calypso’ into everyday use, the main thing is the calypso itself. Quick wit, knowing observations of human behaviour and commentary on its absurd aspects are all elements of calypso, which prompted the American periodical Time to label calypso ‘The Living Newspaper’ in 1944. For eloquence and topical diversity, no other genre comes close to the calypso of Trinidad and Tobago. The Calypsonian assumes a stance between reporter, editorialist, moralist and satirist with commentary on scandal, disasters, politics, sexual indiscretion and everything from local to international affairs. Calypso songs, or kaisos, would outlive the colonial authorities who, at the time, were ignorant to the subtleties, innuendos and insinuations connected with calypso. Amongst the legendary line-up this compilation features Sam Manning, one of the earliest calypsonians to achieve international acclaim. His recording career was launched in 1924 with the release of ‘Amba Cay La’. The melody of the song comes from an ancient stick song from the ‘Canboulay Era’ (1870—1890). ‘Rum & Coca Cola’ is probably the most loved and widely recorded calypso, and has been covered by numerous artists worldwide, including Barry White and Julio Iglesias, just to mention a few. Performing the track here is the uncontested ‘Calypso Queen of the World’ Calypso Rose. Lion was always impeccably dressed and known for his lion-headed cane. He sung and composed all the major types of calypso. Lion also wrote ‘Nora’, sung by Relator. This calypso, recorded in the UK and dealing with homesickness, is reputed to have been the most famous calypso of 1950s, its popularity stretching from the Caribbean all the way to West Africa. Legendary King Radio is known far and wide for his ‘bouncy’ tunes. ‘Man Smart Woman Smarter’ still remains popular amongst listeners and recording artists, amongst whom The Carpenters recorded a version in the 1970s. Lord Pretender was a master of improvisation and, if given a topic, he could immediately provide and sing choruses and several verses without preparation. Considered the ‘last of the golden age singers’, Pretender is represented on this CD with ‘Human Race’. Lord Kitchener’s other nicknames were no less than ‘The Boss’, ‘Genius’, and ‘Master’. In 1947 he sang his popular ‘Green Fig’ for US President Harry Truman. ‘Ah Bernice’ aka ‘Kitch, Come Go To Bed’, created such an impression on Princess Margaret that it is rumoured that she went out and bought a hundred copies of the lyrics.

1. Scandal in the Family
2. Rum & Coca Cola
3. Ah Bernice
4. Edward the VIII
5. Ugly Woman
6. Man Smart Woman Smarter
1. Mary Ann
2. Nora
3. Human Race
4. The Lost Watch
5. Amba Calay
6. Blow Wind Blow

Product UPC: 605633633627

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