Music of the Caribbean
Saturday, February 15, 1941
This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Features musicians from Haiti and Trinidad singing traditional folk songs.
Home sweet home
Where's Jonah gone?
Out the fire
The Duke of Iron and his Trinidad Calypso Troubadours.
The personnel of the “Haitian” group sharing the bill with the Duke of Iron and his Calypso Troubadors isn’t known, although the Duke eventually developed associations with dancers Pearl Primus and Jean-Léon Destiné, both of whom were celebrated for promoting the music and dance of Haiti and the Circum-Caribbean in 1940s New York. The Duke of Iron’s selections are as follows:
• “Home Sweet Home”: written and performed by Lord Caresser in 1939, this is one of many such sentimental songs concocted by calypsonians over the years.
• “Where’s Jonah Gone?”: The Lion reportedly performed this “Shouter” (Spiritual Baptist) hymn with Atilla in 1934. Lord Invader (Rupert Grant, the composer of “Rum and Coca Cola”) would later record it for Moe Asch.
• “Out the Fire”: a “leggo” (a simple form of calypso meant for singing in the streets at carnival time) from 1936 by bandleader Fitz McLean, recorded by both The Lion (Hubert Raphael Charles) and Growling Tiger (Neville Marcano) in 1937 for Decca and RCA Bluebird, respectively
Notes by Michael S. Eldridge.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 72612
Municipal archives id: LT4460