Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 4th 2014 Contents DAVID CUFFY
Roderick "Chucky" Gordon
was crowned 2014 National
Calypso Monarch at the
Dimanche Gras show presented
by Trinbago Unified Calypso-
nians Organisation (Tuco) at
the Queen s Park Savannah,
Port-of-Spain on Sunday
Singing in position number
eight among the 11 finalists, the
reigning Independence Calypso
Monarch offered Wey Yuh Think
and Wedding Of De Century to
dethrone defending champion
Eric "Pink Panther" Taylor and
take home the $1 million prize.
In the last seven years,
Chucky has appeared in the final
of the Monarch competition on
four occasions. In 2008, he was
nominated in the Best New Male
Artiste category in the Interna-
tional Soca Awards in New York.
In that year, as well, his selection
Thunder Coming was voted Pan
Song of the Year.
During his performance of
Wedding of De Century, a tale
about the marriage of soca and
chutney, Chucky made an
attempt to solidify the claim by
bringing on stage representatives
of the various art forms in the
persons of Drupatee Ramgoonai
(chutney), Ray Holman (pan)
and Austin "SuperBlue" Lyons
Placing second for the
$500,000 prize was The Last
Badjohn of Calypso, Kurt Allen,
singing Sweet Sizzling Summer
and The Lost Psalm Of King
David. For the former monarch,
it was the third consecutive year
he had to settle for the first run-
ner-up position. Third place and
$250,000 went to Mistah Shak
(Selvon Noel) singing Bois and
Crime Round De Clock.
The wily veteran and eighth-
time winner of the contest,
Chalkdust (Dr Hollis Liverpool)
placed fourth with his compo-
sitions Ah Miss De Bards and
De Guest List. Extempo
Monarch 2014, Brian London
took the fifth spot with The
Heart Of A Warrior and Call
The event, celebrating 100
years of vocal calypso recordings,
was formatted in three move-
ments. The first, titled The
Opening, featured a medley of
calypsoes from various eras per-
formed by The Lydian Singers
and other vocalists. The second,
Water & Fire, was a "shoot-out
between two DJs, featuring pop-
ular calypsos spanning 100 years.
The final movement consisted
of road marches through the
years, and established the con-
nection between calypso, steel-
band and the masquerade.
Making guest appearances
were the Mighty Sparrow (Dr
Slinger Francisco), Natasha Wil-
son, Aaron Duncan and 2014
Junior Calypso Monarch Ronaldo
London. Celebrity masters of
ceremony were Janelle Com-
missiong-Chow and Ato Boldon.
Show host was Errol Fabien and
musical accompaniment was
provided by Errol Ince Music
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Chucky dethrones Panther
1. Roderick "Chucky" Gordon --
Wey Yuh Think/Wedding Of
2. Kurt Allen -- Sweet Sizzling
Summer/The Lost Psalm Of
3. Selvon "Mistah Shak" Noel --
Bois/Crime Round De Clock
4. Hollis "Chalkdust" Liverpool --
Ah Miss De Bards/De Guest
5. Brian London -- The Heart Of
A Warrior/Call Dem Out
6. Victoria "Queen Victoria"
Cooper -- Political Love
7. Alana Sinnette -- Sea
Lots/And Calling It Rain
8. Weston "Cro Cro" Rawlins --
Pious, Poor But
9. Carlos "Skatie" James --
Calypso Woman/Jack And Jill
10. Myron "The Incredible
Myron B" Bruce -- One More
Sip/First Black Prime
11. Eric "Pink Panther" Taylor --
De Richest Man/Not Tonight
12. Roger "Bodyguard"
Mohammed -- Aloes
Kurt Allen performs Sweet Sizzling
Summer in the National Calypso
Monarch Finals 2014, Dimanche
Gras, at the Queen's Park
Savannah, Port-of-Spain, Sunday
night. PHOTOS: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Selvon "Mistah Shak"
Noel performs Bois in
Dimanche Gras, Queen's
Park Savannah, Port-of-
Spain, Sunday night.
Roderick "Chucky" Gordon, who captured the
2014 Calypso Monarch title at Sunday s Dimanche
Gras show, defended the political nature of his
songs, saying this is what has historically driven
the calypso art form in T&T.
"People say moving from the semifinals in Skinner
Park to the Dimanche Gras is primarily political songs.
Nine or ten of the 12
songs were political,
including mine. That is
where the art form
stems from. The calyp-
sonian has always been
an emblem of resist-
ance, against the estab-
lished order," he told the
Gordon said the
calypso art form still
despite criticisms in
some quarters that it
may be dying.
"I dealt with the
issues in the songs, the
challenges of the Peo-
ple s Partnership, the
instability of the Gov-
ernment, the fact that the Prime Minister travels a
lot. She has difficult individuals to keep in control.
The music is doing what it supposed to be doing as
calypsonians remain the voice of the people," he said.
He has a "serious issue" with how T&T s society
treats culture and he argues that young people are
not aware enough to keep the culture and traditions
"Historically we have not considered adequately
what it means to be Trinbagonian and all we do in
this country is operate in vacuums and silos. There
is lack of affiliation to each other and disconnect-
edness. So everything just happens. The young people
are not aware of what is going on. There is no one
saying this is how the art form is going to be trans-
formed," he said.
He described the competition on Sunday as "tough."
"I did not expect to win because of the stiff com-
petition. I won the semifinals at Skinner Park but
that is different from the Dimanche Gras as there is
a different audience and atmosphere," he said.
He spoke about social media like Facebook and
Twitter and the comments on his song Wedding of
De Century, and said people are "unaware" because
of their criticisms of his song.
"People say it is a chutney song and I was singing
for my supper. It is not that. This song was meant
to show the melting pot that T&T is. It is a vibrant
song that reflects kaiso and pan. Yes, it has elements
of chutney but it is marriage of all that this country
stands for," he said.
Despite challenges, he said the entire production
of the Dimanche Gras show was good.
"To put on a show of that magnitude and skill in
nearly impossible. Having to use the same venue as
Panorama and set up the screen lighting and sound
and run it efficiently is not easy. But they did that
in one day and I consider it a miracle," he said.
He called on the Government and cultural leaders
to come up with "strong policies" to educate people
about the culture of the country and how to preserve
and market it.
"There must be more local content in our culture.
Then there will be less ignorance as people will see
their own culture and have pride in themselves," he
Calypso Monarch champ:
Roderick "Chucky" Gordon
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