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Monday 18 December 2017
Letters to the Editor

Two heroes of calypso

THE EDITOR: I have a friend who lives and teaches in New York and we often get into a verbal tangle over the award of Doctor of Letters by the University of the West Indies. While he demeans the importance of the award, I beg to differ.

I feel gratified when our local cultural heroes and others are awarded for their contributions. So it is with gusto I congratulate all awardees, especially calypso standouts singer/songwriter Lord Superior, also called “Supie,” and songwriter par excellence Winsford des Vignes,

Both men have laboured long and hard in the calypso vineyards and a fitting topping on the cake would be national awards (Chaconia Gold) delivered on Republic Day (September 24). I also expect to see calypsonian Shadow (Winston Bailey) also awarded for his massive contribution to calypso.

Supie, who has an outstanding career in calypso and extempo, has delivered some great songs, among them Black Coffee in the White House, Sando Carnival, The Professor, and Cultural Assassination. The man is a boss.

Des Vignes, on the other hand, has been a song mill and the backbone of Sparrow’s (Slinger Francisco) career with hits such as Saltfish and Phillip My Dear. There are other songs too numerous to mention. Other calypsonians including Crazy (Edwin Ayoung) and Baron (Timothy Watkins) have benefitted greatly from his creativity. For those who came in late, Des Vignes has been a long-standing member and arranger of the legendary Blue Diamonds Steel Orchestra. Bet many of you culture lovers didn’t know that.

KEITH ANDERSON

via email

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