Saturday, April 20, 2013


YEAR:  1955
LABEL:  Folkways
TRACK LISTING:  Barrack-Room Scandal,  Reincarnation,  Brooklyn Brooklyn!,  Barbados,  Brown Skin Girl,  29 Port of Spain,  Labor Day,  Where Jonah Gone
IMPRESSIONS:  What we might consider more of an EP than an LP today, Lord Invader's album "CALYPSO" just barely tops 21 minutes.  However, those are some seminal minutes. The first time I heard the name Lord Invader was when Dave Guard of the Kingston Trio introduced a live version of "Zombie Jamboree" by saying it was by "Lord Invader and the 12 Penetrators".  Sadly, that song was actually first recorded by Lord Intruder and later covered by Lord Invader.  Be that as it may, Whoopi Goldberg taught Doogie Howser how to sing "Brown Skin Girl" in "CLARA'S HEART" so that's some cultural cache for Lord Invader, innit?  "CALYPSO" is an album almost evenly divided between Lord Invader's ties to the Caribbean ("Barrack-Room Scandal", "29 Port of Spain", "Barbados") and his frequent trips to the United States ("Brooklyn Brooklyn!" and "Labor Day").  I just love Lord Invader's raspy vocals and I can see why folkies like the Kingston Trio took him as one of their inspirations.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  All dem.  Yah mon!
GUEST ARTISTS:  The Trinidad Caribbean Orchestra
FACT SHEET:  Who knows what number album this was for Lord Invader?!?  The album was recorded during one of Lord Invader's frequent trips to the U.S.   Lord Invader was born Rupert Westmore Grant in 1914 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.  Grant was given this name by his tailor who told the ambitious singer that he should call himself "The Lord Invader" so that "when you go up to the city you be invadin' the capital".  While in Trinidad, American comedian Morey Amsterdam (of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" fame) heard Invader perform "Rum and Coca-Cola" and brought the song back to the U.S. where it would become a hit by the Andrews Sisters.  Grant sued Amsterdam in 1945 for plagiarism and the case (which Grant would eventually win) dragged on for years.  The Trinidad Caribbean Orchestra consists of clarinet, piano, guitar, steel drum, and percussion.  The album was recorded by Moses Asch for Smithsonian Folkways Records in New York. 

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