Thursday, August 21, 2008

Duke of Iron (Cecil Anderson)

Appearing on recordings, radio and in nightclubs, the Duke of Iron was one of the best-known calypso singers in the United States from the late 1930s through the 1950s. In addition to singing, he played flute, clarinet, saxophone and quatro. His family moved from Trinidad to New York in 1923. Eventually, he became a regular performer in New York's club scene, including a 10-month stint at the Village Vanguard in the 1940s. During the 1950s and 1960s, he appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Apollo Theater in Harlem and many leading nightclubs, such as the Village Gate, the Jamaican Room and the Calypso Room. He also starred in the film Calypso Joe (Allied Films, 1957) with Angie Dickinson.

The Duke of Iron recorded singles and albums for a variety of labels. Of his own compositions, he is best remembered for suggestive calypsos, like "Convoy" and "I Left Her Behind For You," though he also wrote songs about the radio commentator Walter Winchell and the New York Mets baseball team. In addition, he regularly returned to Trinidad to keep up with current trends in calypso, and performed and recorded many annual Carnival hits. The Duke of Iron died in 1968 at the age of 62.


Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen

Big Bamboo


I Left Her Behind For You

Out De Fire


Peter said...
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Peter said...

Thanks for the page about the Duke of Iron. Some of your facts are incorrect. Cecil Anderson (my uncle) played piano and quartro. His brother George "Boysie" Anderson played flute and saxophone. The flutist on the Duke's CD's is a Portugese musician named Soccaras. My father Boysie played saxophone. Boysie died in 1968 at the age of 60. Cecil died several years earlier. I'd really like to hear from the person responsible for this site. I'm so happy to see that you are actively promoting calypso. Please send mail to Best regards, Al-Yasha Anderson

Peter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.