Caribbean Loses Calypsonian Extraordinaire

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The Mighty Shadow is no more.
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By NAN ET Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Oct. 24, 2018: The Caribbean region has lost one of its extraordinary musical talent.

Trinidad and Tobago-born Calypsonian, Winston McGarland Bailey, more popularly known as The Mighty Shadow, passed away at a hospital at 3 a.m. Tuesday, according to Trinidad media reports. He was 77.

T&T’s National Carnival Commission, (NCC) Chairman, Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters, was quoted as saying he is devastated by the loss, so soon after another close friend, pan composer Ken ‘Professor’ Philmore.

“I will miss him dearly. He is one of the most creative minds I have ever met,” the NCC Chairman told Loop TT.

Bailey was hospitalized after suffering a stroke over the weekend. He is best known for his tunes ‘Dingolay’, ‘Looking for Horn’, ‘Stranger’ and others.

Bailey was born in Belmont, a suburb of Port of Spain in Trinidad, but grew up in Les Coteaux, Tobago, with his grandparents. He began to sing at a very early age and went on to win the Road March in 1974 with “Bassman,” and in 2001 with “Stranger,” making him the competition’s oldest winner.

He won the Calypso Monarch in 2000 with “What’s Wrong With Me?” and “Scratch Meh Back.”

Bailey was also known for his unique dance in which he jumped to the tempo of his music in “skip-rope style” with both feet in the air at the same time. His influence on the art form is tremendous and can be heard throughout the years even today in popular songs and road marches.

Bailey was the second to win both the International Soca Monarch and the Trinidad Road March competitions simultaneously, a feat he accomplished in 2001 with “Stranger.”

The popular long-time calypsonian was expected to be conferred with an Honorary Doctor of Literature degree from the University of the West Indies this weekend for his contributions as a musical composer.

 

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