Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sparrow’s 60th year in calypso


Mark Fraser

I recall calypsonian Lord Superior telling me in a radio interview on the then NBS Radio 610 in the 1970s that he was one of three calypsonians who started singing professionally in the calypso tents at Carnival in 1954. The others were the late Lord Blakie and the Mighty Sparrow.

Blakie died in 2005; but, if this information holds still, this carnival makes it 60 years for Superior and Sparrow and I offer my congratulations to both men.

However, Sparrow is in Trinidad and Tobago for Carnival 2014 and has fulfilled a series of engagements, but I am yet to hear mention being made of his (and Superior’s) 60th anniversary of professional singing.

This is a milestone and, given Sparrow’s recent medical challenges, we should all be proud that he can grace a stage still and give a sterling performance whenever he does.

Please let the records show that we have recognised this year as the man’s diamond jubilee in calypso. We should tag Superior’s name to the kudos also.

For the record: Blakie would have been 21 years old at Carnival 1954; Sparrow was an 18-year-old and Superior was not quite 17.

On another note: there is an error in the calypso records that is being perpetuated which needs to be corrected.

The Mighty Chalkdust is listed in almost every record of calypso monarchs as having sung “Three Blind Mice’’ along with “Ah Put On Meh Guns Again’’ to give him the monarch title in 1976.

Chalkdust never sang “Three Blind Mice’’. His other calypso was “No Smut For Me’’.

In order to corroborate this, one simply has to ask Chalkdust or visit the Archives Library in Port of Spain and ask the attendants to check the judges’ score sheets for the 1976 Dimanche Gras calypso competition.

Vernon A Allick

Diego Martin