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Lord Melody - JPop.com
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Lord Melody

Lord Melody

Lord Melody


Lord Melody (1926 – 26 September 1988) was a popular calypsonian, best known for singles such as the self-deprecating "Boo Boo Man", "Shame & Scandal", "Jonah and the Bake", "Juanita" and "Rastaman Be Careful". Melody's career spanned some forty years, from the early development of popular calypso to his embrace of a reggae influenced sound in the late 1970s. Melody was born Fitzroy Alexander at San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, raised at an orphanage in Port of Spain Read more on Last.fm
Lord Melody (1926 – 26 September 1988) was a popular calypsonian, best known for singles such as the self-deprecating "Boo Boo Man", "Shame & Scandal", "Jonah and the Bake", "Juanita" and "Rastaman Be Careful". Melody's career spanned some forty years, from the early development of popular calypso to his embrace of a reggae influenced sound in the late 1970s. Melody was born Fitzroy Alexander at San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, raised at an orphanage in Port of Spain, and met Alwyn Roberts (soon to become better known as Lord Kitchener) after moving to Arima while still in his teens. Roberts took him under his wing and they returned to Port of Spain, where Lord Kitchener became the leading calypso star, with Melody one of his main challengers. His popularity increased locally when Lord Kitchener emigrated to England in 1947.

Melody began singing in the calypso tents in the mid 1940s and was one of the leaders of the Young Brigade tent during the 1950s and early 1960s. He also regularly toured the Caribbean. His early successes included "Berlin on a Donkey", mocking Adolf Hitler, and "Boo Boo Man". In 1954 he won Trinidad's Calypso King title with "Second Spring", and he was signed to the American Emory Cook's record label, Cook Records, in 1956. He was one of six calypsonians who were chosen to sing for Princess Margaret at the Governor's House during her visit to Trinidad in 1956; the others were Sir Galba, Mighty Dictator, Mighty Spitfire, Mighty Panther, and Lord Viper. Melody went on to compose a number of other songs that poked fun at his own appearance, such as "Creature from the Black Lagoon". His first album, Lord Melody Sings Calypso, was released in 1957, with a second album, Again! released the following year. He frequently sparred in song with the Mighty Sparrow.

Rivalry between Melody and the Mighty Sparrow was recorded in the calypsos "Ten to One is Murder" and "Cowboy Sparrow". The humorous rivalry between the two calypsonians was immensely popular with audiences. Another one of Melody's calypsos, "Shame & Scandal" (composed in 1962), became an international hit and was recorded in the U.S., Europe and Australia. His greatest success came when Harry Belafonte recorded his songs "Boo Boo Man" (retitled "Mama Look at Bubu") and "Sweetheart From Venezuela" (aka "Juanita"), having a top 20 hit in the US with the former in 1957. "Mama Look a Boo Boo" was also recorded by Robert Mitchum and many other singers.

In 1958, his "Cricket, Lovely Cricket" became a favourite on British radio, and his records started to become available in Europe, with several singles becoming favourites with Britain's West Indian community in the late 1950s. In the first half of the 1960s, his popularity waned, but he again found success in 1965 when his "Melody Mas" won the panorama at the Carnival. In the late 1960s Melody moved to New York, and he subsequently toured with Belafonte. He was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1970s and the illness restricted his career, although in 1979 he released the I Man album, a reggae tinged album on which he expressed his embrace of Rastafari, the singles "Rastaman Be Careful" and "Brown Sugar" becoming local hits in the same era. In 1982 he made another album, the soca-styled Lola. His health continued to deteriorate and he died from cancer in September 1988, in Port of Spain.

Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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