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John on the Sunset Coast Songbook Indexing: Calypso/Caribbean Songbooks (50) RE: Songbook Indexing: Calypso/Caribbean Songbooks 28 Jan 16


This album apparently came out shortly after Belafonte's "Calypso". I've long felt this was a domestic, studio recording as you seem to indicate. Columbia issued a spate of the genre around this time, including one by the Norman Luboff Choir, which I have but seldom listen to.

Amongst my calypso era records which I still enjoy are:

Royale #1839 10" LP, Native Calypso Songs 1954/55. Label has no track names, nor performers listed. Discogsdotcom posits some heavy hitters, among them Gerald Clark Orch., Macbeth, and Lord Invader. This was probably a budget label, maybe about a dollar or two, new.

Westminster #WP 6038 12" LP, Songs From Jamaica - Edric Connor 1956. Good cover notes with glossary. More authentic sounding versions of several Belafonte renditions, with slightly different titles. I believe that Connor, like HB, was an actor as well as singer. I like a lot.

Tops Records #1568 12" LP Calypso Carnival in Hi-Fi - features Lord Burgess. The album contains at least eight Belafonte tracks. Tops was a budget label, often copying sound-alike singers and pretty much sound alke arrangements of hit record of the '50s.

Capitol Records #T842 12" LP Swinging Calypsos - Lord Flea and his Calypsonians 1957. Highly recommend as I think this my favorite LP of type.

Verve #MGV-2034 12" LP Calypso - The Fabulous McClevertys 1957. I bought this album on recommendation of a single song, Don't Blame it on Elvis, and stsyed for the whole album. As we used to say,"this is one bitchin' album.

Release dates mostly found at Discogs.

Have about 15 other albums, plus, I think, most of the Belafonte RCAs. Truly I enjoy most of the non-Belafontes LPs more than his, but except for a few calypsos by some pop singers he popularized the genre, and I honor that. Also, I have about 20 CDs, with some tracks going back to the 1920s. My favorite of these are compilations of Sir Lancelot from the 40s and 50s. He also appeared in several films. He died in Anaheim CA in 2001, 98 years old!


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