Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts)

Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts)

Lord Kitchener (1922-2000) was known as the "Grandmaster" of calypso. By the time of his death, only the Mighty Sparrow and the Roaring Lion had reached a similar level of respect. For over a half century, he was widely admired for his musicianship, compositions, performance ability and overall support for the calypso tradition. On 10 occasions, he won the "Road March" title—the award for the calypsonian whose song is most frequently played on the streets during Trinidad's Carnival.

Kitchener began performing calypsos in the Trinidadian town of Arima in the late 1930s. By the 1940s, he was appearing in Port of Spain. In 1946 he helped to organize the Young Brigade tent, which featured a new generation of calypso singers, and was applauded for his calypso "Tie Tongue Mopsy." After the 1947 Carnival season, Kitchener traveled to Aruba, Curacao and Jamaica. In 1948 he left Jamaica on the Empire Windrush, a ship that marked the beginning of large-scale Caribbean migration to Britain. Kitchener remained in England, where he had an active career that included extensive recording for the Parlophone, Melodisc and Lyragon labels. His records were exported in large quantities to the Caribbean, where he remained popular. Some of his records were also popular in West Africa.

Kitchener returned to Trinidad for the 1963 Carnival and formed the Calypso Revue, which continued as a major tent. Through this tent, he helped many young singers develop their calypso skills. For decades, Kitchener remained a favorite calypsonian among steelbands, due to the catchy melodies and harmonic complexity of his compositions. Among his many well-known calypsos are "Trouble in Arima," and "Muriel and the Bug",

Trouble In Arima

Batty Mamzelle

Muriel and the Bug (Muriel's Treasure)

Woman's Figure

Come Back With My Wife's Nighty!

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