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Preview: The Mighty Sparrow/Old Town School of Folk Music

Calypso, World Music No Comments »

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Taking the stage name The Mighty Sparrow doesn’t seem necessary if you already go by Slinger Francisco. Due to the Grenada-born singer’s penchant for constant movement, dancing and shaking while performing, his peers offered the nickname as a distillation of the man’s stage presence. That was over fifty years ago, but the Sparrow hasn’t slowed his dissemination of calypso music during that time.

Hitting as many continents on each of his tours as possible, the New York-based crooner has been able to adapt his music over time, taking cues from island stars as much as American jazz singers. What’s remarkable about the Sparrow’s recorded output is that mid-fifties’ recordings sport references to salacious women as much as political awareness and taxation. Releasing “Jean and Dinah,” a song touching on the oldest profession on earth, the Sparrow predated Max Romeo’s “Wet Dream,” a song censored by other island nations, by more than a decade. Read the rest of this entry »