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Calypso and Calypsonians in North America, 1934-1961

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Edmundo & Harry

Posted by Michael Eldridge on October 22, 2011

Edmundo Ros, the Trini-born Latin bandleader who introduced Britons to calypso in the early 1940s and entertained them for over half a century (and whose centenary this blog marked last year) has died just shy of his 101st birthday.  Here is his obituary from the Guardian (UK).

Harry Belafonte

Source: Knopf/Doubleday

Meanwhile, closer to home: octogenarian Harry Belafonte is still alive and kicking — though occasionally somnolent.  During a publicity blitz in connection with his new memoir, My Song (and HBO documentary “Sing Your Song“), Belafonte apparently dozed off while waiting for an early-morning satellite interview with a southern California Fox affiliate, earning him a viral internet video and mean-spirited sniggers from anonymous Dittoheads everywhere.  His publicist chalked up the incident to fatigue and a faulty earpiece, claiming that Belafonte was taking advantage of a quiet moment to “meditate.”  Some of us prefer to think he was merely signalling his opinion of Fox News.

Check out this all-too-brief interview with Belafonte in New York magazine by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro, a terrific young scholar & writer. (Let’s see the long version, Josh!)  And (go figure) Garrison’s Keillor’s review of My Song for the New York Times.

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