The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2429 Message #3796013
Posted By: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
15-Jun-16 - 10:56 PM
Thread Name: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
Subject: RE: Harry Belafonte - Zombie Jamboree
LaMarca/Dick Spottswood: "...power names taken by calypsonians as compensation for their status at the bottom of the social and economic ladder."
The name itself perhaps, the classic Trinidadian titles however, were earned in the annual "Calypso King" contests that run in conjunction with that island's carnival.
Calypso is not a 'free & open' art form in the same manner as Bahamian goombay or Jamaican mento. Rather it is an institutionalized competition amongst a closed, Trinbago Unified Calypsonians' Organisation (TUCO) membership (current incarnation.)
The Trinidad title only expanded to "Monarch" in '78 when Calypso Rose (Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis) caught all the men half-stepping and nobody could deny it with a straight face.
Barbados has a similar event but it's at the end of Cropover. For most of the other islands it was a stage name for a hotel/casino lounge act. "Prince Charlie and His Royal Cats at the Holiday Inn" and "Lord Jellicoe at the Sheraton" were actually some pretty mellow dudes enjoying life.