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Calypso and Calypsonians in North America, 1934-1961

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Peter Pan, or: Seeger and the Steelband

Posted by Michael Eldridge on January 31, 2014

A follow-up: in my last post, I mentioned (parenthetically) Andrew Martin’s excellent “Words of Steel: Pete Seeger and the U.S. Navy Steel Band“—and I related (in a footnote) Ray Funk’s reference, made in an online kaiso discussion group, to a video of Seeger performing Growling Tiger’s “Money Is King.”  Ray plans to screen that video in Trinidad next month, and as far as I know it hasn’t surfaced online.  But later in the day yesterday, another member of the same discussion group quietly posted a link to the lovely short film that emerged from Seeger’s 1956 visit to Trinidad, “Music from Oil Drums.”  (Several different users have put the film up on YouTube, as it turns out.)  Here it is:

Also circulating in the YouTube universe is Kim Loy Wong’s appearance on Seeger’s short-lived, mid-60s television show Rainbow Quest:

Andrew and Ray have been collaborating on pan history in the U.S. for some time now, and I don’t want to steal their thunder.  (Among their more recent work is a great series of short articles for the Trinidad Guardian, the latest of which have appeared in the past few weeks.)  For now I’ll just relate that Seeger produced two of Wong’s albums for Folkways Records (Kim Wong and his Wiltwyck Steel Band and The Steel Drums of Kim Loy Wong), and in 2011 Hollis Clifton interviewed Wong for When Steel Talks about his first meeting with Seeger and the early days of pan in New York.

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