Monday, September 10, 2012

Lord Kitchener

I don't think I have featured Lord Kitchener before on this blog - an oversight on my part. This LP (with no sleeve)on the Trinidad label is from 1979 and more Soca than Calypso but still worth a listen. I must admit I prefer the earlier stuff from the 50's and 60's. Wikipedia says - "Aldwyn Roberts (18 April 1922 – 11 February 2000), better known by the stage name Lord Kitchener (or "Kitch"), was one of the most internationally famous calypsonians. He was the son of a blacksmith, Stephen, and homemaker, Albertha. Kitchener emigrated from Trinidad, spending six months in Jamaica before traveling on the Empire Windrush to the UK. Kitchener's success began after he moved to England in 1948. During the 1950s he built a large following in the expatriate communities of the West Indian islands. His fame continued throughout the 1950s, when calypso achieved international success. Later, though, he moved towards soca, a related style, and continued recording until his death. Kitchener's compositions were enormously popular as the chosen selections for steel bands to perform at the annual National Panorama competition during Trinidad Carnival. Kitchener became a very important figure to those first 5000 West Indian migrants to the UK. His music[3] spoke of home and a life that they all longed for but in many cases couldn't or wouldn't return to. On June 29, 1950, he immortalised the defining moment for many of the migrants in writing "Cricket, Lovely Cricket". This was one of the first widely-known West Indian songs, and epitomised an event that historian and cricket enthusiast C. L. R. James defined as crucial to West Indian post-colonial societies ( West Indies' victory over England in a Test Match at Lord's). The song, later recorded by Lord Beginner, is rarely credited to Lord Kitchener although Tony Cozier and many who attended the Test at The Oval can attest that it was a Kitch composition. In England, Kitchener started out working in London pubs. At first there were difficulties with English audiences who did not understand all the words, but that did not deter Kitch, and after the BBC gave him a chance to broadcast, he moved on to club bookings, and was soon performing in three clubs every night. Kitchener returned to Trinidad in 1962. He and the Mighty Sparrow proceeded to dominate the calypso competitions of the sixties and seventies. Lord Kitchener won the road march competition ten times between 1965 and 1976, more times than any other calypsonian. For 30 years, Kitchener ran his own calypso tent, Calypso Revue, where which he nurtured the talent of many calypsonians. Calypso Rose, David Rudder, Black Stalin and Denyse Plummer are among the many artists who got their start under Kitchener's tutelage. It was always important to Kitchener throughout his career to gain new experiences that could be woven into his material. This led him to performances in CuraƧao, Aruba and Jamaica in the early days, and finally to London, when he was already flying high in Trinidad. Kitchener once said: "I have reached the height of my popularity in Trinidad. What am I doing here? I should make a move." This creator of highly popular and sweet melodies died of a blood infection and kidney failure at Port of Spain's Mount Hope Hospital on 11 February 2000. He is buried in the Santa Rosa Cemetery in Arima. He was later honoured with a statue in Port of Spain. A bust of the beloved entertainer is also on display on Hollis Avenue, Arima, not far from the Arima Stadium." Tracks are as follows - 1. Netball Queen 2. Barataria Sweet 3. No Pan


John Medd said...

Phill Jupitus used to play him on his Breakfast Show. My Wife's Nightie springs to mind; not a million miles from Football Football by Edmundo Ros.

Wastedpapiers said...

Thanks for the info. John. My Wife's Nightie sounds like one to find!

Wastedpapiers said...

That didnt take long! Here it is on YouTube!