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West Indian Rhythm: Trinidad Calypsos

West Indian Rhythm: Trinidad Calypsos

Decca Records, to compete with a similar venture by RCA, sent a recording crew to Trinidad in 1938 to record local calypso artists for commercial release on the island and beyond. West Indian Rhythm compiles all but one of the resulting calypsos from 1938-1940 on ten discs, featuring many of the most popular calypso artists of the day: See more details below


Decca Records, to compete with a similar venture by RCA, sent a recording crew to Trinidad in 1938 to record local calypso artists for commercial release on the island and beyond. West Indian Rhythm compiles all but one of the resulting calypsos from 1938-1940 on ten discs, featuring many of the most popular calypso artists of the day: Atilla the Hun, the Lion, the Caresser, and King Radio. Certainly one of the heaviest box sets Bear Family Records has ever produced, West Indian Rhythm comes with an immense 316-page LP-sized hardback book that might be the most impressive achievement in Bear Family's history. The exhaustively sourced text not only provides historical background and biographical notes on the performers, but provides lyrics for every vocal selection and explanations of the cultural, geographical, and historical references therein that might elude modern listeners. Of the 268 calypso titles recorded for Decca during this period (released and unreleased), the compilers were able to locate the masters for 265, while two of the remaining titles turned up on an acetate in a private collection. As a result, this is an astonishingly complete set of Trinidadian calypsos lovingly restored and presented in remarkable sound quality, unlike previous anthologies of this material mastered from commercial 78s. Many of the unreleased recordings were censored for political reasons or for alleged obscenity; two examples of the former -- Atilla the Hun's "The Banning of Records" and the Lord Executor's sarcastic "The Censoring of Calypso Makes Us Glad," were censored for commenting on censorship itself. Aside from the lyrically rich topical calypsos listeners would expect, the set offers a wide variety of music issued under Decca's calypso series, including gospel, instrumental, and dance tunes that reflect the diversity of Trinidad's carnival music scene. The time, expense, and attention to detail that obviously went into this set are almost beyond belief, and the result is an unrivaled tribute to what many consider to be the greatest calypso catalog ever recorded.

Product Details

Release Date:
Bear Family

Related Subjects


Disc 1

  1. Hold Your Hand Madam Khan
  2. Bastardy
  3. Ida, Ida Let Me Know
  4. The History of Man
  5. Sunny Grenada
  6. Anything for Love
  7. Don't Touch Me
  8. Jacks' Broth
  9. Madam Khan
  10. The More They Try to Do Me Bad
  11. I Want to Build a Bungalow
  12. Excursion to Grenada
  13. Ba Boo La La
  14. I Don't Want No Bungalow
  15. Tres Bemoles
  16. Commission's Report
  17. Joe Louis
  18. Ruby Canera
  19. I Am Going to Buy a Bungalow
  20. Emmalene
  21. Seven Skeletons Found in the Yard
  22. My Troubles with Dorothy
  23. Clear the Way When the Bamboo Play
  24. Me and My Neighbor Don't Agree
  25. Will Dispute
  26. Shout All Guiana
  27. Why I Killed Winifred

Disc 2

  1. O Lil', Lil' Gal
  2. The Orphan Children
  3. Rubina
  4. Back to Grenada
  5. The Lajebeless Woman
  6. Theresa
  7. Show Me What You Could Do
  8. The Bushwoman Come to Town
  9. Lillian
  10. The Censoring of Calypso Makes Us Glad
  11. The Bamboo Band
  12. Shango
  13. Deliso
  14. Mr. Nankivell's Speech
  15. Cicilia
  16. Exploiting
  17. My Wedding Celebration
  18. School Boys' Adventure
  19. The Banning of Records
  20. West Indian Rhythm
  21. The Governor's Resignation
  22. The Horrors of War
  23. Victoria
  24. Jimpy's Ingratitude
  25. Not Me with Matrimony
  26. The League of Nations
  27. Tobago's Scandal

Disc 3

  1. Captain, Put Me Ashore
  2. Give Me Back Me Ring
  3. Ancient Carnival
  4. Hojoe
  5. Sa Gomes' Emporiums
  6. It's a Sin to Tell a Lie
  7. Heroes of Old
  8. Vitalogy
  9. I Am Happy to Be in Love
  10. Poppy Day
  11. We Mourn the Loss of Sir Murchison Fletcher
  12. The Strike
  13. The Normandie
  14. We Want Sa Gomes
  15. The Drinker and the Gambler
  16. How I Spent My Time at the Hospital
  17. Peter, Go Ring dem Bells
  18. What Kind of Shoes You Going to Wear
  19. When Me Body Lay Down in the Grave
  20. Jonah, Come out the Wilderness
  21. Mamy Mine My Baby for Me
  22. Ting a Ling Mi Bangola
  23. African War Call
  24. Play Mass, Don't Do Me That
  25. Little Gal, Mother Is Calling You
  26. Fire Brigade
  27. Archie Boulay
  28. They Say I Reign Too Long

Disc 4

  1. Manuelita
  2. The Beautiful Land of Iere
  3. Civil War in Spain
  4. I Don't Want Them to Stand Me Bail
  5. Next Door Neighbour
  6. I Want a Radio at Home
  7. Where Was Butler?
  8. The Vendor's Song
  9. Guests of Rudy Vallee
  10. Why Me Craf Vex with Me
  11. Under the British Commander
  12. Tina
  13. Tropical Heat
  14. Barre-A-Oh
  15. Marian
  16. Girls of Today
  17. Man, Man, Man Peter
  18. Nellie Go out Mi Door
  19. Down the Road
  20. Darling Kimberlin
  21. Senorita Panchita
  22. Emilia
  23. El Suspiro del Pobre
  24. Love Has Done for Me
  25. Jim Congo Myer
  26. Gertrude
  27. Miss Marie's Advice

Disc 5

  1. Lopez Contreras
  2. Tierras Lejanas
  3. Linda Vista
  4. Mi Vida
  5. Old Man
  6. Only Foreigners
  7. Calypso Behind the Wall
  8. Too Botheration
  9. History of Woodbrook Vicinity
  10. Happy Man
  11. Hitler Demands
  12. Bosie Darling
  13. Trinidad Loves to Play Carnival
  14. The Coldness of the Water
  15. In the Morning
  16. Police Diplomacy
  17. The Diamond Ring for Emmaline
  18. Demasbar
  19. Ten Thousand to Bar Me One
  20. Buddy Abraham
  21. They Talk About Nora's Badness
  22. Who Has Done the Best for Humanity
  23. Love Me Emily
  24. The Five Year Plan
  25. Home Sweet Home
  26. Time for Man Go Home
  27. So Many Women

Disc 6

  1. Fare Thee Well
  2. Woman Headache
  3. Malicious Neighbours
  4. After the Bachanal
  5. Chamberlain Says Peace
  6. Christmas Morning the Rum Had Me Yawning
  7. Don't Tickle Me Dorothy
  8. In the Dew and the Rain
  9. I Don't Want No Calaloo
  10. Mois La Travy
  11. Peggy Dearie
  12. Death
  13. Bee
  14. Sweet Emily
  15. Old Woman
  16. Hooray Hoorah
  17. Fire Girls
  18. Elsie Jambie
  19. Elsie
  20. Old Men Come Back Again
  21. Matilda
  22. John O'Carr
  23. It's the Rhythm We Want
  24. The West Indian Sheik
  25. Dem Policeman
  26. La Belle Trinidad
  27. Inequality of Life

Disc 7

  1. My Life of Matrimony
  2. No Surrender
  3. Fire, Fire in Port-Of-Spain
  4. If the Follow Me They Get Fever
  5. Freddo
  6. La Reine Maribone
  7. Charming Trinidad
  8. Gabilan Bombay
  9. Alla Nom
  10. You Better Let Me Go
  11. I Am Free, Single and Disengaged
  12. Don't Stop the Carnaval
  13. Soffie Bellah
  14. Too Much Sorry and Pain
  15. Joe Louis-Schmeling Fight
  16. Soup in Bottle
  17. High Brown
  18. Bad Woman Oh
  19. Blow Wind Blow
  20. Kash Kash Kmona
  21. Customs Fire
  22. The Power of the Lion
  23. Where Is My Sister This Morning
  24. Ara Da Da
  25. Scorpion
  26. The New Shop Law
  27. My Indian Girl Love
  28. Bing Crosby
  29. Mama I Want It

Disc 8

  1. Memories of Trinidad
  2. Amanja Soqua Me
  3. Two Bad Men in the World
  4. Gambo Lai Lai Before the Court
  5. Leave Me Alone Dorothy
  6. Advantageous Young Girls
  7. Adeline
  8. You Pelt Me Bundle Before the Dro
  9. Hitler
  10. My Intention Is to Join the Volunteers
  11. Hitler Demanded Trinidad
  12. Romance in the Moonlight
  13. Caro at Point Cumana
  14. Ochro and Rice
  15. The Invasion of Poland
  16. Sir Neville Chamberlain
  17. Hitler's Mistake
  18. Freedom and Liberty
  19. Clementina
  20. Not So Carolina
  21. Finland
  22. My Impressions of Demerara
  23. Sedition Law
  24. Two Sisters Scandal
  25. Run Your Run Hitler
  26. Hitler's Attitude
  27. Brambroocoo Dance
  28. Appetite

Disc 9

  1. Let Them Fight for Ten Thousand Years
  2. Lion Oh
  3. Carnival Revue
  4. Run Your Run Hitler
  5. Do You Remember Me?
  6. Second Hand Girls
  7. Cocoa Tea Puzzle to Me
  8. No No No Miss Angeline
  9. In My Own Native Land
  10. When I Marry Dorothy
  11. Emily
  12. Germany Invade Poland
  13. Story of Mr. Paul
  14. Leave Me Alone Dorothy
  15. Matrimony Becomes a Papyshow
  16. Lillian's Slackness
  17. Don't Worry with Me
  18. Bertha I Feel You
  19. No, No, Mirie
  20. Demi Gal
  21. Nazi Spy Ring
  22. Deliso
  23. Ah Neighbours, Neighbours
  24. Happy Land of Canaan
  25. Suzi Qu
  26. I Send My Wife to the Market
  27. Shango Dance
  28. Rada Dance

Disc 10

  1. La Vieja Mia
  2. Carnival Again
  3. Sambo Why You Are Go
  4. Patria Preferida
  5. Gambie Law Ray
  6. The Admiral Graf Spee
  7. No Wedding Bells for Me
  8. Li Li Pierrot Darrie
  9. Send Hitler to St. Helena
  10. Teener Have Sympathy
  11. The Guardian Contest
  12. The War
  13. Harold Change Your Mind
  14. Women Diplomacy
  15. Orphan Home
  16. Ellis Nottingham
  17. Policeman
  18. General Contreras
  19. Mi Quiero Casar

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Cyril Monrose   Bass,Piano,Violin,cuatro
Clemons Smith   Alto Saxophone
Cecil Bonnes   Banjo
Bill Verwayne   Cymbals,Drums,Wood Block
John "Buddy" Williams   Bass
Will West   Clarinet
Cyril Monrose String Orchestra   Accompaniment
Bert McLean's Jazz Hounds   Piano,Accompaniment
George Mutoo & His Demerara Orchestra   Alto Saxophone

Technical Credits

Kevin Burke   Illustrations
Don Hill   Illustrations,Essay
Roaring Lion   Composer
Charles Grant   Composer
Richard G. Johnson   Illustrations
Cyril Monrose   Composer
Richard K. Spottswood   Reissue Producer,Illustrations,Essay
T.A. Codallo   Composer
Neville Marcano   Composer
Egbert Moore   Composer
Raymond Quevedo   Composer
David Evans   Illustrations
Ray Funk   Illustrations
Richard Weize   Reissue Producer
John Cowley   Illustrations,Essay,Executive Editing
Norman Span   Composer
Holger Von Bargen   Art Direction
Ralph Perez   Producer
Hollis Liverpool   Introduction
Alric Farrell   Composer
Alain Boulanger   Illustrations
Art Zimmerman   Illustrations
Wolfgang Taubenauer   Artwork
Traditional   Composer
Erich Hülsenbeck   Photo Restoration,Photo Scanning
Richard Noblett   Illustrations
Lise Winer   Illustrations,Essay
Andreas Merck   Photo Scanning
Will West   Composer
Rufus Callender   Composer
Errol Duke   Composer
Philip Garcia   Composer
Rupert Grant   Composer

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