Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 14th 2018 Contents B10 life
Sunday, January 14, 2018
• From Page B9
Phillip had warned composer
Grant to desist from maligning
his reputation in the industry.
He said that came about when
Grant gave Kenny Phillips of
WACK Radio a "serious letter" of
what would happen if he played
his song and the consequences.
Phillip said Grant was a "big
time" lawyer who had no right in
When asked his opinion on
the Soca Monarch competition,
Phillip said it came off more
like an X-rated show where the
performer who could express
himself more with antics wins
because it was just "wine on a
bumsee" and cheap lyrics.
He said one of the young soca
stars he admired and to keep an
eye on was 2017 International
Soca Monarch Aaron "Voice" St
Phillip said although Voice
could step in Machel Montano's
shoes, it will take some time.
Phillip said the future of soca
was in good hands judging by
the school competitions---the
standard and superior lyrics of
some of the junior singers were
higher than some soca artistes
and they needed to be guided by
veterans in the art form.
Brother Valentino’s bio
Calypsonian Brother Valentino,
born Emorold Anthony Phillip
on July 7, 1941, spent his irst ive
years in Cherry Hill, Grenada.
He arrived in Trinidad on a
Carnival Monday, which was
very fascinating to the ive year
old. He grew up at Long Circular
Road, St James.
Phillip attended the Mucurapo
Boys' RC Primary School and
moved on to a private secondary
school, but his father's death
and the family's inability to fund
his schooling forced him to drop
Always skilled with his
hands, Phillip worked several
odd jobs before he decided to
focus on building a career as a
He tried his hands as a printer,
electrician, mechanic and was a
very good tailor. He started his
calypso career in 1962 with an
appearance at the Big Bamboo
Calypso Tent on Park Street,
Initially using the sobriquet,
The Mighty Robin, he was forced
to ind a new sobriquet when
another calypsonian started
using the same name. It was Lord
Kitchener (Aldwin Roberts) who
gave him the name "Valentino".
A man poured a shot glass of
Carmen Jones rum over Phillip's
head to christen him as a
Kitchener gave him the
opportunity to stay by him for
a year in his Semper Gardens,
Diego Martin, home along with
Explainer and Black Stalin.
After more than 40 years
performing, Phillip won his
irst of icial title in 2005 when
he was crowned Veterans
Calypso Monarch at the National
Women's Action Committee's
(NWAC) inaugural competition.
He was dubbed "the people's
calypsonian" for expressing his
political and social awareness.
Known for his tell-it-like-
it-is style and as one who pulls
no punches, Phillip has over
the years penned a number
of classics including; "Life is a
stage" (1972), "Barking Dogs"
(1974), "Dis Place Nice" (1975),
"Stay Up Zimbabwe" (1979),
"Birds That Fly High" (1982),
"Time And Space" (1986),
"Calypso In Trouble" (1992),
"Time To Love Again" (1996),
"The Radio" (2001) and "Where
Kaiso Went" (2004).
Phillip now spends the
Carnival season performing
at Kaiso House, doing veteran
calypso shows and guest
lecturing at UWI.
Vintage kaiso is by no means neglected
in T&T and has a niche market. There are
patrons who yearn for the nostalgia of
songs from the golden age of calypso and
there are still veteran exponents of the
art form still around and singing at shows
throughout the country, roving tents and
in the countryside as well as "in foreign."
• Veteran Calypso Rose, Linda McArtha
Monica Sandy-Lewis, 77, is flying the T&T
flag high overseas. She won the World
Album of the Year award at the Victoire
de la Musique award ceremony in France
• 87-year-old “Papa” Lord Nelson (Robert
Nelson) will be arriving in Trinidad today
from the US to perform at Spektakula
Promotions shows, taking patrons on a
nostalgic journey revisiting the calypsoes
of yesteryear and the 25-plus years
of Calypso Spektakula titled Calypso
Spektakula Thru the Years. Last year,
Nelson made it to the International
Soca Monarch semifinals at the Arima
• Slinger Francisco, better known as The
Mighty Sparrow, 82; Lord Superior Andrew
Marcano, 80; James “Durango” Samuel, 80;
and Surpriser, Clevon Romero, 88, are still
wowing patrons at vintage calypso shows.
VINTAGE KAISO NICHE MARKET
pointing to a
'Kaiso has been good to
me, but not the judges'
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