The Eloise Trio
The Eloise Trio
There are many reasons for the many accolades bestowed upon her. She was a pioneer when it wasn't popular for women to be performing on stage in nightclubs. In a male dominated industry, she made her presence felt with her powerful voice and unique delivery of goombay songs. Not only did she sing her way into the hearts of those that listened to her, she was very competent on the lead and the bass guitar. Starting her singing career at the age of twelve, Eloise distinguished herself by winning many amateur talent shows, some of which were held at the Cinema Theatre in Nassau, Bahamas during the 40's and early 50's.
She further developed her musical talent playing with renowned goombay drummer Peanuts Taylor. After her first album Chi Chi Merengue in the 50's, she left to tour the United States. The 60's would bring her back to the Bahamas to perform for local audiences in various clubs including Blackbeard’s Tavern on Bay Street, Montague Beach Hotel at the eastern foreshore of Nassau, and The Emerald Beach Hotel on west Bay Street. After a three- year absence from the stage, she joined "Peanuts" in 1967 as a star attraction at the Drumbeat Club just off downtown Nassau. At a time when the Bahamas Tourist Board used local musicians to drum up visitors to our shores, Eloise along with many other musicians made invaluable contributions to the building up of the tourism industry.
Her travels would take her to many far away destinations including the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Japan, where she captivated audiences with her brand of goombay music. Her move to Freeport would mark the last of her travels. There she remained until her death in 1984. During her years on the Bahamian stage, Eloise was often accompanied by Peanuts Taylor (drums) George Wilson (bass) Barbalou (maracas) Eloise Lewis has left a legacy of being one of the most popular female in the music industry in the Bahamas. Not only did she provoke the thinking for female entertainers, but she was the type of entertainer that set a standard that her male counterparts srtived for.
Eloise's music was done in a tasteful flavor, whether she was singing an agressive goombay tune or a lullaby, her personality was always full of presence. Her signature staccato high screams in Chi Chi Merengue served as an announcement that she was on stage and ready to go. Although it must have been a challenge to make in a industry dominated by males, Eloise, because of her musicianship could not be denied. The excerpts taken from two of her songs below demonstrates her versatility, vocal and instrumental techniques.
When you hear Eloise, there is no other that fits her mold. Her ability to strum out a groove on the guitar and maintain the level of energy exuded in her singing is quite amazing. In listening to the syncopation in her lyrics in contrast to the steady rhythmic pulsation played on the guitar tells us that she knew her instruments well, and was very comfortable in her singing and playing at the same time. At a time when the Bahamas was searching for a distinct sound, Eloise made an invaluable contribution in trying something new.
Her style, in my opinion needs to be re-visited and explored. I hear rap, calypso, and most of the rhythms used in our music within her musical presentation. It is amazing that after all this time, her music soungs relevant. Releases: 1956 Eloise Lewis and her GOOMBAY TRIO 1959 THE Exciting ELOISE TRIO 1960 The ELoISE TRIO 1962 COME TO THE Caribbean AND MEET The Exciting ELOISE TRIO 1964 the NEW and exciting ELOiSE TRIO http://bahamasentertainers.com/Artist/EloiseLewis/eloise_Mpg.html Read more on Last.fm.
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