Sunday, April 29, 2007

Calypsos From Jamaica (Ritmo/Monogram)

A fine Mento collection featuring Hubert Porter, Lord Lebby, the Denzil Laing Trio, Harold Richardson, Lord Flea, and The Wigglers.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Wilmoth Houdini, late 1940s

Ah, Frankie Sinatra 

Ah, Frank Sinatra
Frankie me boy, you don't know
You have a perfect voice to sing calypso

Why not make a dish wit' de Houdini?
Singin' de West Indian melody
Frankie me boy I'm sure
We sell two million copies or more.

"Bobby Sox Idol," Houdini, ca. 1944

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Calypso Songbook

Bought on eBay last year, published 1957. Fine cover, with art by Bill Charmatz, crying for Photoshop. Interior illos purloined (with attribution) for Muriel's Treasure 2006 WFMU marathon premium CD.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Calypso at Midnight

Newspaper ad for Calypso At Midnight concert, produced by Alan Lomax at Town Hall, New York City, December 21, 1946. The concert was recorded and is available on two CDs released by Rounder Records.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Is it her treasure?

Muriel Gaines was a dancer in Harlem's Cotton Club, and started singing calypso in the 1940s at the Village Vanguard and Le Ruban Bleu. She later toured Europe, where she was dubbed the "Queen of Calypso." She released two calypso records in 1945 on the National label, accompanied by Sam Manning's Serenaders: "Ugly Woman" c/w "You Got to Have Power," and "What You Gonna Do" c/w "Too Sweet, Too Sweet."

Above: Muriel on the cover of Jet (May 29, 1952)