THE EDITOR: Congratulations to all the 2017 national awardees. I cannot help but say I have a bias for those in the sporting and cultural fields. So you could imagine my joy over Calypso Rose, Hubert “Ed” Watson and Robert “Nello” Nelson being so awarded.
I am also happy for our 4x400 heroes and Akeem Stewart’s recent achievements. I still feel petite sprinter Michelle-Lee Ahye should have gotten a lil’ something. However, my focus today is on calypso.
The original Lady Iere led the battle for the acceptance of women in calypso. In those days, society frowned on women in calypso. Many felt a woman’s place was in the home and not in a male-dominated calypso tent. There were also those who felt a woman singing calypso was of low morals.
However, walking in the footsteps of Lady Iere, the tag team of Calypso Rose (McCartha Sandy-Lewis) and Singing Francine (Francine Edwards) kicked down the door of rejection that obstructed their progress.
Calypso Princess, Singing Diane, Denyse Plummer, Singing Sandra, Marvellous Marva, Tigress, the late Beulah Bobb and others have since continued the jamming.
So it is with great joy I revel in the success of the Tobago-born Rose who credits Sparrow for teaching her the ropes. Rose has worked hard from No Madam to Leave Me Alone, reinventing herself and her music. Her Fire Fire and Tempo remain all time classics.
I await anxiously the awards to the creative giant Shadow and pan maestro Earl “Barney” Rodney. Long live calypso and pan.
KEITH ANDERSON via email