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OLDIES SUNDAY: Mighty Sparrow – Jean & Dinah (1956)


Closing off another “Black History Month“, today’s Oldies Sunday selection salutes another Black talent who has made an impact on the world and the music culture. Today, we check out Calypso Icon Mighty Sparrow, and go back into time to check out his track, “Jean & Dinah” a.k.a. “Yankee’s Gone“.

Arranged by Cyril Diaz And His Orchestra and released through the Kay label in 1956, this was a song that featured Mighty Sparrow shedding light on the large-scale Prostitution that American Military bases supported in Trinidad and Tobago during the post-war period, the desperation that many Prostitutes went through after the closure of said bases, and the departure of the troops. He mentions a few names other than “Jean & Dinah” (The track was also called “Jean & Diana”) who did what they had to do to make a sale, but when things got bad, their businesses had to downscale. Sparrow also mentions that Night Clubs were feeling the pinch too as they were the go to spots for Military personnel to hang out, and the meet up spot for many Prostitutes to conduct business. With Sparrow’s social commentary and well written lyrics, “Jean & Dinah” became not only his first hit, but the song lead to him becoming a winner in the 1956 Trinidad Road March competition, and wearing the crown at the 1956 Calypso King/Monarch competition. “Jean & Dinah” has become one of his most famous songs, and it helped him to bring Calypso music to various parts of the world. It was covered by American Actor Robert Mitchum in 1957 (A Gentrification move?). A true legend, Mighty Sparrow went on to become “The Calypso King Of The World“, and his influence, sound, and wit birthed generations of artists and the blending of musical styles.

THANK YOU MIGHTY SPARROW

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OLDIES SUNDAY: Don Campbell – See It In Your Eyes (1993)


All lovers get ready for this Oldies Sunday selection! In recognition of today being Valentine’s Day, we go back in time to check out UK Singer Don Campbell’sSee It In Your Eyes“!

Produced by Trevor T. with assistance from T. Phillips and Jazzwad and released through Juggling Records in 1993, Don Campbell is on a mission to retrieve a lost love after doing her wrong. Despite her rejections, he can see and feel that she still has a lot of love for him. With Valentine’s Day being a day for those who have strong love for each other, it can also be a day where the spark comes back in a relationship, or two hearts reconnect after being away from each other. Don Campbell’s “See It In Your Eyes” became a huge hit, and is listed as one of the greatest UK Lover’s Rock singles ever. The former member of the Undivided Roots Band struck gold when he made his first release as a solo artist as “See It In Your Eyes” quickly climbed the British Reggae Charts, and helped to gain him accolades at the 1994 British Reggae Industry Awards. The single was also featured on his successful 1994 debut album, “The Album” which was released through VP Records.

To all those celebrating Valentine’s Day, have a happy one. Check out our V-Day playlists, “Dancehall Love“, and “Dancehall Duets“! Check out the track below, and share with a friend. Show us some love/follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @13thStreetPromo.

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OLDIES SUNDAY: Brown Sugar – Black Pride (1977)


February is recognized as “Black History Month“. While we recognize the Black man’s rise everyday, we continue to recognize some great Black people in music on Oldies Sunday. Today, we go back in time to check out UK group Brown Sugar with their classic single, “Black Pride“.

Produced by Brownie “T” for Dennis Harris Productions and released through the “Lover’s Rock” label in 1977, the song found members Caron Wheeler, Pauline Catlin, and Carol Simms celebrating Blackness during a time where racism and prejudice were still heavy problems in society. Being proud of the skin you’re in is what Brown Sugar emphasized throughout the Lover’s Rock single, but the message still falls on the deaf ears of many today. “Black Pride” become a successful single for Brown Sugar, and is still played to this day. Though the group broke up and reunited a few times over the years, former member Carol found success with a cover of the single when she embarked on a solo career under the name Kofi years later. Say it loud, “I’m Black and i’m Proud“.

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OLDIES SUNDAY: Singing Sandra – Die With My Dignity (1987)


Today’s Oldies Sunday selection comes from the late Sandra DesVignes-Millington a.k.a. Singing Sandra. Today we go back to the 1980s with her track, “Die With My Dignity” a.k.a. “Sexy Employees“.

Written by Ortniel Bacchus with production and distribution by M&M Records in 1987, the track finds Singing Sandra sharing the challenges women face on the Island when it comes to finding employment. She shares the episodes where Employers try to take advantage of women in the workplace by sexually harassing and exploiting them for monetary gains. Singing Sandra puts her foot down as she’s not welcoming their advances, and would rather go elsewhere than to discard her morals and values for gains of any kind. Sadly this is what’s going on in workplaces around the world where gender inequality is concerned, and with the #MeToo Movement on the rise in the past few years, many men are facing the other side of the Law for their crimes.

Singing Sandra’s “Die With My Dignity” became a part of history as it helped her to win the titles of “National Calypso Queen” in Trinidad, and the “St. Maarten Queen Of The World“. The song would be later featured on the “Rising Stars ’87” album, and became one of Singing Sandra’s signature tunes. Since “Die With My Dignity”, she went on to become the second woman to ever win the Calypso Monarch title in 1999 after Calypso Rose. With another title win in 2003, she became the first woman to do it twice. One of the pioneers in Calypso industry, she paved the way for more female voices to emerge in a predominantly male scene. She continued to make music and seal her place as a Caribbean Icon until her passing on January 28, 2021. We remember her with this Oldies Sunday selection.

THANK YOU SINGING SANDRA!

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OLDIES SUNDAY: Janet Kay – Silly Games (1977)


Today (January 17), we celebrate the birthday of UK Lover’s Rock legend, Janet Kay on Oldies Sunday! Today we look back at her hit single, “Silly Games“.

Produced by Dennis Bovell and released through Arawak Records in 1977, Janet Kay sings about a man she has a lot of interest in. While she believes he shares the same feelings for her, but they both fail to approach each other and make something happen. It’s a mix of infatuation, What Ifs, and frustration, and Janet doesn’t want to keep playing this game of hide and seek when they’re around each other. The single was released in Europe and peaked at #2 on the UK Singles Chart. It later became one of the tracks that became an anthem during the rise of the UK Lover’s Rock movement in the 1970s, put Janet in the Guinness Book Of World Records as the first British Black Female to score a UK Reggae hit, and the single was the first Lover’s Rock track to appear on the BBC flagship music series, “Top Of The Pops“. It’s forever a classic with Janet’s high notes displayed throughout, and was inspired by the Queen of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald’s Memorex Commercial. The single was featured in the Film, “Lovers Rock“, a part of the Steve McQueenSmall Axe” Film series.

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OLDIES SUNDAY: Sister Charmaine – No Disrespect (1990)


Today’s Oldies Sunday selection is dedicated to Dancehall Artist Sister Charmaine who passed away on January 5, 2021. Before the many prominent Queens of Dancehall, Sister Charmaine was one who held that title proudly. Today we go back in time to check out “No Disrespect“.

Released through Leggo Records in 1990, Sister Charmaine did plenty name dropping on this one as she shares the difficulty in catching a break in music. In a rather humorous way, she calls upon artists like Papa San, Admiral Bailey, General Trees, Little Lenny, Professor Nuts, Lt. Stitchie, Flourgon, Ninja Man, and many more for assistance in making her career as successful as theirs. From borrowing a Benz, to performing Obeah, to learning certain songs and moves, Sister Charmaine believes these were some of the methods her fellow artists used in getting a “buss“. The song was not made to disrespect the many artists mentioned, but to give her audience something to laugh about, and showcase her versatility. The song was featured on the “Live And Kickin’” compilation in 1990. A song we believed took a cue from “No Disrespect” was Ce’cile’s 2000 single, “Changez” where she called out male deejays, but for a rather different topic.

Walk Good Sister Charmaine!

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