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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

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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“Uncrowned Queens” To Provide Entertainment During The Pandemic


Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley’s October 2020 announcement that, “Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago in 2021 is not on” has not stopped local artistes and Carnival stakeholders from keeping the culture and festivities of the season alive. Among them stands Warrior Empress, who, in collaboration with Music Mill Studios will present Uncrowned QUEENS – a virtual musical concert featuring some of Trinidad and Tobago’s most promising Female Calypsonians; this event will be live streamed via YouTube from 8PM (AST) on Friday 5th February 2021.

No stranger to the Calypso arena herself, Warrior Empress (whose birth name is Allison Bernard) has been singing professionally for the past fourteen (14) years. She sang out of the Kalypso Revue from 2015 to 2019, was finalist in The NWAC Calypso Queen Monarch Competition from 2010 to 2019 – placing 2nd on two (2) occasions 3rd on another, and was also the First  Reserve at The National Calypso Monarch Finals in 2019 with her own composition ‘The You in You.”

Showing her true warrior spirit, Bernard is not one to retreat when faced with challenges. In a statement to the media Bernard said she was inspired to produce this show “on the heels of one of the governing body for the Carnival stating that they would not be holding any [Carnival related] activities… not even virtually.” With three (3) successfully produced online events under her belt: With Women In Mind’ – a Mother’s Day Concert in May 2020, ‘Vocals and Steel’ – a Father’s Day Concert in June 2020, and ‘Rise Up’ – an Emancipation Concert in July 2020, in addition to an ongoing, online weekly talk show entitled “The Feminine Drive” Bernard saw this statement as an opportunity to innovate, and “keep the spirit of Carnival alive in a new way”.

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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!

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 (Christmas): Singing Francine – Hurray Hurrah (1979)


In recognition of the Christmas season, we’re highlighting a few Christmas songs for the month of December on Oldies Sunday! Last week we visited Haiti, this week we stopped by Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago to check out the legendary Singing Francine’sHurray Hurrah“!

Arranged by Pelham Goddard and released through M&H Productions in 1979, Singing Francine shares the story of the birth of Jesus Christ, and highlights his importance to all of us. Over beautiful production, Singing Francine gives us a lively song that will make everyone join in clapping and singing. The track was featured on her 1979 “From Christmas…To Carnival Vol. 1” album, and her 1981 “Christmas Is Love” album. One of the Queens of Calypso with the great Calypso Rose, Singing Francine has brought joy and a lot of entertainment to anyone within earshot of her voice for many decades. “Hurray Hurrah” is one of her many Christmas releases, and is still played in various parts of the Caribbean.

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 (Christmas): Mighty Pélay – No More Gift For Christmas (1977)


Happy Sunday everyone! With Christmas popping up in a couple weeks, we head over to the Island of St. Lucia for a Christmas classic. Our selection today comes from the late Calypso legend, the Mighty Pélay ‘s track, “No More Gift For Christmas“! This was released by the WIRL label in 1977, and was featured on the Christmas album, “Merry Christmas Our Way From Mighty Pelay“. While Christmas is synonymous with gift giving, Pélay has a few regrets on this song as he has made the claim to never give gifts nor even ask for any during the season. From purchasing a suit for someone who never wore it, to giving a bed to a girlfriend, only for her to disrespect him in return, to a lot more. Don’t be an Ebenezer Scrooge this Christmas, just be mindful who you gift.

We hope you have a great Christmas if you celebrate it. Check out the track below, and share with a friend. Show us show love/follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @13thStreetPromo.

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Calypso Rose Needs Her “Young Boy” In @MachelMontano Assisted Video!


There are some folks in the world who like their love interests to be much older, while others like them (legally) younger! Before her iconic Coachella gig, Caribbean Icon Calypso Rose lets us in on why she wants a younger gentleman in the Machel Montano assisted, “Young Boy“! With the video shot by Fluid Capture and starring Comedian Nikki Crosby, Rose gave her 1992 track new life with the help of the “Monk” as they go back and forth over the young man/old woman relationship topic. She said the young boy keeps her younger, who are we to say she’s wrong? Calypso Rose will be making her historic appearances as the oldest performing Artist and 1st Calypsonian Artist on Coachella later (April 12) at 6:30PM PDT (8:30 PM GMT-5 time), and on April 19.

Check out the video below, and share with a friend. Show us some love/follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @13thStreetPromo.

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