Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 13th 2013 Contents B1
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The Mighty Sparrow has proved himself as the quin-
tessential calypsonian, par excellence, with more than 70
albums to his credit. He is richly endowed with many
giftsHe possesses an amazing ability not only to
put into works and tempo the exploits of
society, but to crown it all with show-
manship and appeal. His great con-
tribution to the art form and our
lives has unraveled the mysteries
of Caribbean life, leaving the
professionally trained sociolo-
gist and economist befud-
A combination of tal-
ent, hard work and
Calypso King of the World. He brought honor, glory and
dignity to an indigenous art form that was once scorned
upon by the elite of Caribbean society. He is one extraor-
dinary entertainer who utilises the medium he masters
not just to entertain but also to edify, enlighten, and edu-
The T&T Guardian spoke with a range of people con-
nected with culture in this country to hear what they feel
Sparrow's impact has been on our national life and
"His music we all grew up
with, and even as it is
played years later to a
new generation it still
remains fresh. The work
of a true maestro.....a
class act!" - Gerald
Agostini, broadcaster and
"Slinger Francisco is to
calypso what Robert Nesta
Marley is to reggae. The
catalog of his work covers
every form of human
endeavour, and aptly
describes every aspect
of the human
experience. Now that
the term 'icon' has been
reduced to the pedestrian,
as has the term 'community
leader,' the only befitting
sobriquet would be 'Cultural
Colossus.' - Robert Mayers,
"I grew up in a house where our
mother bought and played Sparrow's LPs
alone! We had no choice, and so his music and
lyrics have stuck in my head even to this day.
Take Yuh Bundle And Go, and so many more.
Lying Excuses, for the clever lyrics and
fantastic melody. Soca Pressure, the
masterful double entendre in Benwood Dick,
and others to numerous to mention. Birdie
sang for Exodus The Band Plays On, which
was in tribute to my late brother Amin.
"Slinger Francisco is the supreme
calypsonian. Hoping he would recover from his illness,
and our prayers are with him." - Ainsworth Mohammed,
manager Republic Bank Exodus.
"There is no calypsonian alive today on whom Sparrow
has not impacted. Most calypsonians when composing
think of Sparrow in terms of lyrical measurement,
melody, phrasing and delivery. Sparrow, therefore, is the
ideal and ultimate standard for calypso composition and
performance." - Chalkdust (Dr Hollis Liverpool).
"Education. It rang like an alarm bell in my head all
through primary school. Federation, Dan Is The Man,
Slave, We Like it So, and One Love strongly awoke and
sustained my political and social sensitivities, and made
me more solidly Caribbean. Sparrow is an icon that,
through much of his life, represented the boldness that
youth could and should be. In that regard he is a model to
our nation, as far too many of our youth are switched off
too early and live to simply satisfy the status quo and
not get involved in shaping their own future.
"I wish him well, regardless of whether he stays on this
side of the divide or crosses over." - Prof Brian Copeland.
"Well, I nominated Sparrow for T&T's highest honour,
the Order of T&T at this year's Independence Awards, so
that should tell you how I feel about him. Unfortunately,
this is not a place that is kind to art and the people who
make it. Sparrow's legacy is the joy he brought to so
many, and will continue to bring for generations to come.
He is one of a kind." - Dennis Ramdeen, marketing
"Sparrow through his music created the foundation for
a national culture. He and Kitch are our greatest artists.
People might rate Naipaul higher because he's got a
Nobel Prize but I think he is truly great.
"Sparrow came to the fore in 1956, the year that Eric
Williams first came to power. It was a symbolic year,
because it was the year urban Black Trinidad got ready
to take this country to Independence. Sparrow was their
cultural arm and everybody --- Black, White or Indian ---
"Anyone who heard any of Sparrow's great hits,
remembered them for the rest of their lives. If I sing,
'always in custody, mih friends and mih family...', you
know what comes next.
"He is to us like the Beatles for the England and Marley
for Jamaica." - Dr Kim Johnson, historian.
SEE PAGE B2
THE MIGHTY SPARROW
Bon Jovi drummer Tico Torres has
had emergency surgery to have his
appendix removed, forcing the band to
postpone a string of South American
Frontman Jon Bon Jovi posted an
apology on the band's Web site,
promising to "re-schedule any dates
that we can".
"Tico sends his thanks for all of your
thoughts and prayers," he wrote.
"It was his desire to perform. He
even promised the doctors he would
come back for the surgery right after
the show but the doctors prevailed."
The musician's surgery took place on
Wednesday, the day after Bon Jovi's
scheduled concert in Mexico City.
Torres, who turns 60 next month,
is currently recovering at the
American British Cowdray Hospital
in Mexico City. "We'll remain here
with Tico in Mexico City and will see
him through his release," wrote Bon
Jovi on the Web site, adding that he
and fellow band member David
Bryan spent the day at the
drummer's side. (BBC)
Bon Jovi cancels dates as drummer Torres undergoes surgery
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