Skeptics say its superstition. But here’s a pretty good example: in Trinidad & Tobago, we lost three cultural icons within the space of eight weeks.
On September 30, the nation virtuoso panman, composer and arranger Ken “Professor” Philmore died at the age of 58 from severe internal injuries suffered in a crash on the Republic Day holiday. He sustained broken ribs and his lungs had collapsed. Philmore was driving his Toyota Hilux north along the Solomon Hochoy Highway when he skid near Claxton Bay at around 8.45 AM. The vehicle flipped several times and Philmore was thrown out of the cabin.
On October 23, legendary calypsonian Winston ‘Mighty Shadow’ Bailey died at the age of 77. Shadow, who had been in poor health for some time, suffered a stroke and was confirmed dead in hospital in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday Oct 23, days before he was set to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of the West Indies for his contributions as a composer.
On November 1, another veteran calypsonian, Winston ‘The Original De
Fosto Himself’ Scarborough died less than a week after attending the final farewell, of the Mighty Shadow.
Scarborough, a prolific calypso composer and entertainer, suffered a heart attack on Tuesday 30th October He was 64 and had been battling heart disease.
De Fosto grew up in the Tacarigua Orphanage where his musical talents were discovered and nurtured. Eventually, he learned to read and score music. He made his professional singing début in 1976 with, Chicks Come Out to Play, and over the years he composed and performed many popular calypsoes, including ones specially written for the steel band. Four Lara Four, co-written by the late
Merchant, was played by the 1995 National Panorama winner, Amoco
His other Panorama hits include; Firestorm and Pan Lamentation, which earned Trinidad All Stars the national steelband titles in 2002 and 2007.
He also wrote Pandora and War, which helped Exodus score back-to-back victories in 2003 and 2004.
DeFosto never won the National Calypso Monarch but came close
on more than one occasion. In 2000, he placed second with Pan
Forevermore and One More Kitchener.
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