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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000174.txt from 2005/05

From: "Danny Bittker" <dbittker@-----.net>
Subj: [kl] Rum and Coca ColaI
Date: Mon, 09 May 2005 04:24:38 -0400

I've been away and so have not quite kept up to date on why Rum and coca
Cola has come in for such discussion on this list. However, it was NOT
written by Morey Amsterdam. It was composed by one of the greatest
Trinidadian calypsonians, Rupert Grant Jr. whose calypso sobriquet was Lord
Invader. If you Google Lord Invader and Rum and Coca Cola you can get the
whole story; Lord Invader successfully sued Morey Amsterdam or whoever the
publishing company who claimed authorship was, and I believe was properly
credited thereafter. This business of calypsos about Trinidadian women
prostituting themselves to American servicemen has been dealt with in many
calypsos, most noteworthy probably being "Jean and Dinah", the famous 1956
(date?) song popularized by Francisco Slinger (calypso sobriquet- the
Mighty Sparrow) (though authorship of this song has been disputed, and
never to my knowledge completely settled) and is a well known protest
against colonialism. The practice of claiming authorship of various
"ethnic" material is a familiar and despised practice, from Alan Freed's
claim of royalties to Chuck Berry's "Maybellene" to a very convoluted,
fascinating, and tragic theft of what was popularized as "Wimoweh aka The
Lion Sleeps tonight" a big hit song for the Tokens---there was an excellent
account of this one in Rolling stone magazine not too many years ago, and
may also be available on the Internet. Sorry for the lack of further
documentation on this one, but as a diehard aficionado of calypso music, I
needed to see credit given where it is due to the great Lord Invader. A
number of his wonderful recordings are still in print, and well worth
checking out, especially a recording called "Calypso Travels" on Folkways.
And for the record, calypso music and the steel drum are from Trinidad and
Tobago, not Jamaica....

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