The Word: Main page of calypso rarities and classics from Trinidad and other Caribbean islands, plus the best and rarest calypso jazz and crossover calypso, and related Jamaican mento, and even some ska and early reggae. Definitely see the subpages for major artists and related idioms (of which some are partly calypso).
So much Caribbean:
Links: are to artists bio/discog pages in the Hyp Records guide:
Images: accurately represent items but are not always the exact copy listed/purchased
Discount: ALWAYS try to buy more than one item at a time
Lou Adams Plays Bahamania Calypso with vocals by Blind Blake, Jack Roker, Cyril Ferguson 10"; Art ALP-12; 1954; with lyric sheet insert E-/V $20 -- calypso; rare!; also with Bruce Coakley, Eric Cash, Maurice Harvey, Leonard Perpall, Fred Henfield; priced low for wear and noise on some songs but it's totally worth it (rare Blind Blake!); Over So, Tanneray, Bad Woman, Monkey Song, Oh Look Misery, Coconut Man, Barnyard Calypso, Better Be Safe than Sorry
Sydney Bean & Hubert Smith: Calypso Holiday in Bermuda; Bermuda BLP-2003 (subsidiary of Monogram); deep groove E/V+ $30 (or deep groove E+/V $25, specify) -- one of the rarest Monogram (or Monogram-esque) titles is also one of top Bermudan star Hubert Smith's best; great jacket (in a darker green than our own copy); Bloodshot Eyes, Green Ticket, Collegiate Invasion, Opportunity, Island Gal Audrey, Gombay Dance, Right Side of the Road, Bermuda, Matilda, Mary Anne, Mothers of Today; marks and wear, priced accordingly
Count Bernadino & his Calypso Bacchinals: Count Bernadino's Calypso Philosophies (jacket: Count Bernadino at the Sheraton British Colonial); Sun Rise ST-55752/3; deep groove N/N shrink S $30 -- calypso; self-made, great, and quite scarce!; Gimme Gimme Gimme Dance, I'm So Sorry for Myself, Wings of a Dove, Marianne, Nassau the Paradise, Steel Drum Medley, Bernardino's Theme & Philosophy, Woman Go Look for Work, Shame & Scandal in the Family, Ruckus in Detroit, Take Your Meat Out Me Rice, Down Blue Hill Road
Count Bernardino: The Masterful; Sun Rise (no #--his own label); E-/E- S $20 -- calypso; "Have no fear the Count is here"; rare private press by one of the greats; one crazy cover (My Ding-A-Ling), two primordial reggaes (Mother Goose Reggay, Help Me Make it Through the Night), three pan tunes (Godfather Theme, My Way, Snowbird), six original oddball calypsos: Bernardino's Theme & Philosophy Pt 2, May from Miami, Miserable Woman, Mr. Sugar, Little Country Girl, No Madam
Blind Blake & his Royal Victoria Calypsos; Art ALP-3; copyright 1951 (reissued from 78s/45s) generic jacket/black label generic/E- $25 -- calypso; no relation to the American blues figure, THIS Blind Blake is far more significant, venerable, and a unique talent/voice even among Bahamian calypsonians; by now people have figured out that he's one of the most coveted acts on the Art label, and his early records are very hard to find even at high prices (thanks in part to jackasses selling them on eBay as pure blues records!), but here we have this very nice one in a tidy generic jacket; J.P. Morgan, Jones! Oh Jones!, Yes! Yes! Yes!, Pretty Boy, Run-Come-See Jerusalem, Love Love Alone, Lord--Got Tomatoes, My Pigeon Gone Wild, Watermelon Spoilin' on the Vine, Never Interfere with Man & Wife
Boystown Steel Orchestra/Trinidad Pan Harmonic Orchestra: Trinidad Carnival; Vitadisc TC/L-159; deep groove E-/E+ $50 -- steel band; glorious color jacket (same jacket & title as another LP on the label by Lord Melody w/Cyril Diaz); we're not suggesting it's the best Vitadisc calypso, just a great instrumental steel-band LP on the coveted label; jacket has a bite out of the lower left corner & a couple of lesser woes but the disc at least is very impressive
Lord Brynner: Lord Brynner: Calypsorama; Wirl WIRL-1054; E/E- S $50 -- original Wirl pressing!; classic album by the terrific 1962 Trinidad & Tobago Calypso King (who later moved to Canada); Calypsorama, Canadian Redhead, Don't Bring Your Problem to Me (I'm Sorry Honey), Munsinger Affair, The Queen Singing Calypso, Uncle Crazy-Uncle Mad, Back to My Islands, Dorothy, West Indian Culture, My Teacher
Lord Brynner: Lord Brynner's Calypsorama [in Jamaica]; Erin LP-1940; E/E+ S $50 (or E-/E- S $30, specify) -- Canadian version (different jacket art/photos/liners but same record) of one of his best; rare and great!; Calypsorama, Canadian Redhead, Don't Bring Your Problem to Me (I'm Sorry Honey), Munsinger Affair, The Queen Singing Calypso, Uncle Crazy-Uncle Mad, Back to My Islands, Dorothy, West Indian Culture, My Teacher
Lord Brynner's Roslyn Pussy; Hilary LP-1939; E/E- S $50 -- Trinidad's finest expat to Canada in one of his best records (they're all great and very hard to find) from 1969 or 1970 (an Erin/Brynner recording made in Trinidad); Roslyn Pussy, Republic Yes-Republic No, Vietnam Memoriam, Hang 'em High, Doo Doo Darling, Hindu Girl Pamela, Martin Luther King Message, Caribbean Paradise, Big Mouth Marion, Mr. Crab
Lord Brynner's Big Big Bamboo Calypso; Erin LP-1941; Canada; jacket only (E+), in flapped mylar sleeve -- free for the asking with order (this is the Canadian version of WIRL LP Calypso Carnival)
Lord Burgess: Lord Burgess Rides Again; Cherry Lane CLRI-1-1984; 1984; sealed S $25 -- Irving Burgie, the man who wrote 37 hits made famous by Harry Belafonte (the songs were good, if the singing wasn't), not to mention his own career of LP releases, here stages a comeback from Canada with a dozen original songs (three share credit with William Attaway or Belafonte) with some reggae-soca touches on one or two; Gamblin', Miss Lena Horne, Curry Goat an' Rice, Island Crystal Waters, Hard Times Calypso, Mellow Gal, Jamaica Farewell, Dolly Dawn, Island in the Sun, I Do Adore Her, Jackass Bray, Day-O
Ronnie Butler & his Ramblers: Ronnie Butler Steps Out at the Big Bamboo; Elite LP-OE-3 (formerly OE-1!); deep groove E-/N- S $20 -- first LP on the label--heavy vinyl; top ex-King Eric singer; Big Bamboo Jump Up, Don't Touch Me Tomato, Goombay, Ugly Woman, Kinston Market, Water She Garden..
Calypso Eddie with his Carib Islanders; Art ALP-19; deep groove N-/E- $40 -- calypso; AWESOME!; other than the Mighty Panther and compilation albums, there are two rare Art artists everyone should seek out: Calypso Mama and Calypso Eddie; the whole thing is fantastic and largely original, as the titles indicate: Voodoo Drums (sensational!), Matilda, Bad Woman, Fish & Grits, Television, 'Tilda Hold de Light, Saturday Night, Island Samba, Mama Out de Light, Mambo Calypso, Small Island, Caribbean Moonlight
Aaron Collins: Calypso, U.S.A.; Crown CLP-5028; deep groove V+/V $20 (or V-/V- $15, specify) -- cross-over calypso; before Robert Mitchum did his famous calypso record, there was this rare collectors item by the leader of the Cadets, which traditionally makes this primarily a rock collectors item, but here you are able to add it easily now to your own complete calypso collection; hard to do better than this without spending much more money!; Jamaica Farewell, Mary Anne, Mama Look a Boo Boo, Marie My Love, The Riddle, I Had But 50 Cents, Pretty Evey, Rum Jamaica Rum, Sylvie, Day-O, John Henry, Matilda
Count of Monte Cristo & Lord Wilson: The Caribbean Calypsonians; Scott S-14; deep groove E-/E- $40 -- great, rare series of several volumes (all have the same jacket but different people/sets/songs!); authentic '50s NY recordings in this case by the Duke of Iron's illustrious brother, the Count of Monte Cristo, along with Lord Wilson; despite some inevitable pressing flaws (a few bumps, slight background noise) even in unworn copies, it's totally first-rate and likely the only chance to hear some of the performances (of original calypsos, especially); top stuff, highly recommended!!!; Fan Me Sager Boy, The Big Bamboo, The Naughty Fly, The Bull, Anyone Know Who Got de Key?, Conga Barra, Mama Don't Want No Peas & Rice, Poor Me Jonathan, Take Me Take Me, Woman Headache, Brown Skin Gal, San Paulo
Count of Monte Cristo & Lord Wilson: The Caribbean Calypsonians; Scott S-16; deep groove E+/E+ $50 -- great, rare series of several volumes (all have the same jacket but different people/sets/songs!); authentic '50s NY recordings in this case by the Duke of Iron's illustrious brother, the Count of Monte Cristo, along with Lord Wilson; totally first-rate and likely the only chance to hear some of the performances (of original calypsos, especially); top stuff, highly recommended!!!; St. Peter's Day, Bed Bug, Fifty Cents, You Too Sweet for Me, Justina, Free Town Gal, Tell Them--Tell Them, Convoy, German Calypso, Small Island, Seven Rum Bottles, Donkey Race
[Sun Ra &] Roz Croney, Queen of the Limbo: How Low Can You Go?; Audio Fidelity/Dauntless DS-6309; 1963; cutout E/E S $75 -- dance rock (limbo/twist/etc.); as with the Dan & Dale Batman LP (but much rarer!), it's another fun, silly LP w/Sun Ra (credited as "Edward O. Bland") backing an exciting female singer not unlike Eloise Lewis; with or without the Sun Ra aspect, it's one of the better LPs of its kind (lively, good, w/vintage guitar); nice jacket photos of dancer Roz Croney doing the limbo and sliding low (she once held the record at 7.5"--just imagine!); It's Limbo Time, Limbo Like Me, Bagpipe Limbo, Bossa Nova Limbo (Sun Ra original!), What Makes the Limbo Rock, Whole Lot of Shaking Going On
Russell Daville: Calypso Sung by Russell Daville with Bill LaMotta Orchestra & Chorus; Monarch MO-LP-602; 1958 deep groove E/E- $20 -- calypso; rare New Jersey LP with some very special attractions; there's LaMotta's help; also Daville was with Katherine Dunham and had a wide career appearing with Sinatra, Lena Horne, etc.; best of all, he's from Martinique and this LP features not only a few general calypso standards but also some really wonderful Martinique songs (the best reason to snap it up); Hurricane Hannah, Bomba Negra, Like Ma-a-a-d, I'll Sing, Callalu Capoochy, Calypso Belle, Sun Rum & Pretty Women, Prosperity, Nuttin Dat a Woman, La Belle Martinique, Crazy Silly Names, Ugly Woman
Richie Delamore: Goombay & Ballads of the Islands; Bahamian Rhythms BRH-33; 1960; E+/E+ S $25 -- calypso; "Delamore in Stereo" with Peanuts Taylor & Dirty Dick's Orchestra; it's a top-notch classic on a prized older label (which captured most of the stars of the Bahamas in usually their earliest hi-fi recordings); Matilda, Hold 'im Joe, Man Smart--Woman Smarter, Bahamian Brown Baby, Island Woman, Come Back Liza, Little Nassau, Cocoanut Woman, Country Boy, Island in the Sun, You'll Never Walk Alone, Night & Day
Percy Dixon & his Merry Boys: Scandal in Montego Bay; Sue STLP-1026; E-/N- S $30 -- really great, scarce mento (Jamaican calypso) LP, similar to the best Jamaican stuff on Monogram, Lord Flea, and the well-known Hiltonaires (only better!); also fascinating as likely the only calypso LP on the rare Sue label (with liner notes and production by Sue President and top funk producer Juggy Murray!); mix of first-rate covers and originals: Scandal in Montego Bay, Denny Reel, Calabash, Watermelon (terrific original: "tastes so slicy"), In a Row, Hold Him Joe, Naughty Little Flea, Shake Sinora (sic--it's the Shake Senora popularized by Lord Flea), Bloodshot Eyes, Ben-O-Dict, Kinsey Report, Balimbo
Duke of Iron subpage
King Eric & his Knights: BA MA Hit Parade; Carib LP-2008; 1960; 1st/deep groove E+/E- $30 -- calypso; fantastic rare early one (their first and best) epitomizing the lure of the Bahamas in the Golden Age of Tourism (and record production!); dig the great club-photos jacket with the sensational liner notes (in our Liner Notes of the Gods feature, which is itself worth investigating); a generous 13 cuts, including the mighty "Big Bamboo" (best naughty calypso ever!); Island Woman, Back to Back (Zombie Jamboree), Choucoune, Jamaica Farewell, Ah Baby, Day O (Banana Boat Song), Mary Ann, The Big Bamboo, Crazy Like Mad, Bahama Lullaby, Mama La (merengue), The Conch, Island in the Sun
King Eric & his Knights: Calypso Encores; Carib LP-2017-S; 1962; 1st/gold/deep groove N/N- shrink S $30 (or E+/E+ S $20, specify) (or N-/E- S $15, specify) -- calypso; "More Hits from the Bama"; beautiful jacket (with great niteclub photos); benefit from greater availability but it's everything you could want: 12 great songs from their prime and the prime years of the label!; John B. Sail, Bahamian Gal, Pretty Woman, Ugly Woman, Nassau Theme, Calypso Island, Conch Aint Got No Bone, Mary Anne, Cha Cha Baby, Yellow Bird, Measurements, Little Nassua Bahama Mama
King Eric & his Knights at the Emerald Beach Hotel; Elite ERS-1; gatefold deep groove/first press N-/E- S $20 -- calypso/steel; label debut/1st LP!; rare, deluxe inner color photos; with Frankie Adams; Red Shoes, Rambling Rose/Marie Elena (Steel Drums), I Could Have Danced All Night, Island Woman (Steel Drums), Quando Calienta el Sol, Mr. Walker, Long Time, Who Can I Turn To, Brown Skin Gal (Steel Drums), Spanish Eyes, Sponger Money, Big Bamboo (great update!)
King Eric & his Knights: All Time Favourites Calipsos (sic); Elite OE-24; 1966; deep groove E+/N S $15 -- calypso; they may not be the definitive calypsos of all time, but they are a nice mix of Bahamian classics with some adventurous contemporary tossed in, so it's still an essential Eric Gibson album; Archie, Leave a Little Girl in Nassau Town, John B. Sail/Island Woman, Nassau Market, Little Nassau/Delia's Gone, Are You Lonely for Me Baby (great r&b hit that Gregg Allman also covered!), Ring Ting Ting, Yes Yes Yes (Yass Yass Yass), Day-O, Yellow Bird, My Pussy, Gin & Coconut Water
King Eric & his Knights: Live at the King & Knights Club; Elite LP-OE-46; E-/N S $20 -- groovy liner notes and jacket photos (it's about time they appeared as knights), top sound, good production all around and the always entertaining King Eric, leading calypso group of Nassau, stretching beyond local chestnuts; Come to the Bahamas, Killing Me Softly, John & his Sexy Phone, Take the Ribbons, Quando, My Way, Joy to the World, Call Me, Doctor, For the Good Times, Sweet Gypsy Rose, Sail
Lord Foodoos: Calypso Carnival; Legacy LEG-116; E+/E ES $20 (or E/E- ES $15) -- very affordable reissue of an Elektra record so rare we've never had it for sale and only seen it once or twice; 14 songs (some of which are probably misnamed but that's typical of calypso records): Matilda, Back to Back, Don't Touch Me Tomato, Marianne, One Little Lover, Stone Cold Dead in the Market, That's How Me Come Over, Day-O, Lady Trelalay, Drive Her Home, Hold 'im Joe, Peas & Rice, Lousy Mother in Law, Jamaica Farewell
Serge Gainsbourg: Aux armes et caetera; Philips 9120-384; 1979 (Canadian pressing of 9101-218) N/N- S $60 -- reggae; the fantastic Gainsbourg with reggae greats Sly & Robbie; "Relax, Baby Be Cool" is the pick track; great sound!
Teddy Greaves: Living it Up with Teddy Greaves; Art ALP-64; E-/V+ S $15 -- calypso (except for jazz "Out of Nowhere"--2 sax players featured); live at either the Turtle Walk supper club, Grand Bahama Hotel or the Jack Tar (dual creditation); rare jacket of him on boat, with a waterskiing photo on back (other jacket's face has him waterskiing while the band plays in background boat); Shame & Scandal, Zombie Jamboree, Swahili Song 13 in all, continuous groove
Geoffrey Holder & his Trinidad Hummingbirds; Riverside RLP-4004; deep groove E-/E- $65 (or deep groove V/V $25, specify) -- Shango/calypso/Martinique; mainly Shango cult music (the Trinidadian equivalent of voodoo but far rarer, particularly on '50s LPs!) by famous dancer, etc., including similar tunes from Martinique & other places not often heard on LPs of the period; unique & wonderful stuff on the prestigious jazz label's "world folk music series"; the vinyl is incredibly thick, yielding intense sound/bass; 11 cuts: Sol Leve Woyo, Shango Hymn, Fay Oh, Invocation, Hymn to Osine, Pendant Mone dans l'Armee, Wake Song, Adieu Madras, 'Ti Paule, Miss Lily White, Adam in de Garden
Wilmouth Houdini/Bert McLean's Jazz Hounds: Calypso; RCA Camden CAL-360; 1st press N-/N $40 -- calypso; rare LP, nicely produced, reissues priceless 78 records in reliable, clean, convenient LP sound (albeit lo-fi, since they date to 1940); 7 Houdini songs with 5 calypso-jazz instrumentals (solo instruments include clarinet and banjo; Poor But Ambitious, Pepper Pot, Cousin Scratch Here So for Me, Mama Call the Fire Brigade, Mademoiselle, Resisting Temptation, They are Lying to Me, Bacanal, Don't Do that to Me, Sweet Lilian, Pretty Woman, Calaloo
Wilmouth Houdini [with Gerald Clark's Night Owls]: Calypso Classics from Trinidad; Folklyric FL-9040; 1984/1928-40; E/N $50 (or E-/N $40, specify) -- calypso; 16 priceless NYC recordings compiled and reissued in reliable, clean, convenient LP sound (albeit lo-fi, since they date to 1940); 8 songs with Gerald Clark's Night Owls: No Mo' Bench & Board, Sweet Papa Willie, Honey I'm Bound to Go, The Cooks in Trinidad, Arima Tonight--Sangre Grande Tomorrow Night, Black But Sweet, I Need a Man, Stop Coming & Come; 3 songs with his Hummingbirds: Glorious Centenary, Bandsman Shooting Case, African Love Call; 3 songs with Cyril Monrose: Uncle Jo' Gimme Mo', Song No. 99, Trifling Men; 1 with his Calvary Bamboo Band: The Devil Behind Me-Leggo; and 1 with his Bamboo Orchestra: Poor But Ambitious
The Island Champions/Hubert Smith: Conch Ain't Got No Bones & Others; Request/Sounds of the Caribbean SLP-746; 1974/1959; E/E- $20 -- Jamaican/Bermudan; rarer even than the original, it reissues 10 great cuts by the Island Champions (Eddie Brown, Jellicoe Barker, Hubert Porter, Monte Reynolds, Levi Burke) and 2 by Hubert Smith; Conch Ain't Got No Bones (Smith), Reincarnation (a.k.a. "Bedbug"), Coolie Gal, In de Land of America, Wrong Man, Mary Anne (Smith), Caroline, Big Bamboo, Why Oh Papa Gone (a.k.a. "Charlie's Cow"), Jamaica Banana, Rock You Body in Time, Daphne's Be Bop Walking
[The Drums of] Cyril Jackson: Afro Stereo (Afro Drums) ... Africa
Herb Jeffries: Devil is a Woman; Golden Tone C-4066; deep groove E+/N- $50 -- calypso/Afro-Cuban/voodoo/vocal; one of the most exciting vocal LPs we know and love as well as an unusual treasure for this page; a mojo bag of sinsational thrills, mainly original and unique to this very LP!!!; the very popular Jeffries had hits on major labels, but this obscurity is his best for our purposes--if you're going to have just one "crossover calypso" LP (a la Robert Mitchum's) by a male crooner, this is the one!; Golden Tone gives you sturdy, heavy vinyl in the fancier packaging--very hard to find in top shape like this!; Devil is a Woman, Don't Spank de Baby, White Sails, Po' Mule, Only One Love, Fly Joe Fly, Adam & Evil Blues, Magical Joe, Move Slowly Darling, Calypsociety, Jamaica Lady, Bayou
Herb Jeffries: Jamaica; RKO ULP-1280; N-/N- $40 -- another flavor of Devil is a Woman (same set exactly in a different jacket with liner notes about Jeffries), also very tough to get in top shape; Devil is a Woman, Don't Spank de Baby, White Sails, Po' Mule, Only One Love, Fly Joe Fly, Adam & Evil Blues, Magical Joe, Move Slowly Darling, Calypsociety, Jamaica Lady, Bayou
Herb Jeffries: Jamaica; RKO SLP-1280; V+/E+ $20 -- claims to be stereo but isn't; top value!
King Kobra & the Venoms: Limbo Carnival; Family SFLP-545; cutout E-/V+ S $20 -- calypso/calypso-jazz; the super-rare original (rarer still in stereo) on a tiny budget label!; Side 2's six cuts are basic vocal limbo stuff but Side 1's instrumentals are where it's at; there really is some decent playing and instrumental solos, so it counts as "calypso jazz"; liner notes contain lyrics if you're hardcore about doing de limbo
King Kobra & the Venoms: Limbo Carnival; Request/Sounds of the Caribbean SLP-736; 1972 (reissues super-rare Family SFLP-F45); N-/N S $20 -- calypso/calypso-jazz; you may be better off with the clean sound and hipper jacket of this version; Side 2's 6 cuts are basic vocal limbo stuff but Side 1's instrumentals are where it's at; there really is some decent playing and instrumental solos, so it counts as "calypso jazz"; liner notes contain lyrics if you're hardcore about doing de limbo
Eloise & her Goombay Trio; Bahamian Rhythms 23; 1956; seam splits E-/E+ $50 -- fantastic!; rarest and fantastic debut LP with most of her biggest hits in original form!; we've waited a long time for this one to turn up again--first we've had it to sell; Jump In the Line, Love Alone, Mango, If I Need It, Similau, Pretty Boy, Conch Ain't Got No Bone, Anna Ba Cour (Anabacoa?), Memories, Keech, Mary Ann, Digby
The Eloise Trio; Decca DL-78983; 1960; 1st/deep groove E+/E+ S $50 (or E/E+ S $40, specify) -- fantastic!; the sensational Eloise Lewis Trio's famous, exciting debut LP for the label (one earlier is super-rare), famous for striking jacket art (b&w "op art"); top shape, rare stereo!; Cocoanut Woman (her best?), Shake Shake Senora (the Lord Flea hit), Zombie Jamboree, Similau, Banana, Digby, Goombay, Anna ba Coha (sic: "Anabacoa"--by legendary Hollywood impressario/Chaino-producer Kirby Allan!) and rockin' originals "Blackbeard's Cha Cha" and "Chi Chi Merengue"..
Eloise Lewis: The Exciting Eloise Trio; Decca DL-74077 (STEREO); N/N S $60 -- calypso/Latin; second of three great classic LPs for the label, all essential and thrilling, by the leading female voice in calypso of the time; beautiful jacket photo and top sound/production/material, including a Latin cut or two (typical of Eloise) to great effect; Man Piaba, Time But No Money, Jamaica Farewell Song, La Chita, Don't Tell On Me, Marianne, Yellow Bird, Jack and Jill Calypso, Pretty Boy (Pretty Girl), Three Blind Mice Cha Cha, The Jackass Song (Donkey Bray)
Eloise Lewis: Come to the Caribbean & Meet the Exciting Eloise Trio; Decca DL-74293; N-/E+* S $70 (or promo E/E- S $40, specify) (or E/E- S $30, specify) -- calypso; rare!; her most valued LP (often priced over $100 elsewhere) after the super-rare first one [on Bahamian Rhythms]; Come to the Caribbean, Gin & Coconut Water, Matilda, Calypso Twist, Bahama Lullaby, Limbo, Mama Look a Boo Boo--Twist, Basket on Head, Island in the Sun, Merci Boucoup, Jones O'Jones, Honey Love (Clyde McPhatter); *perfect except 1 little press bump on the last cut
Eloise Lewis: The New & Exciting Eloise Trio; Carib LP-2029; N/E+ $40 -- calypso; highly desired, scarce, and a highlight of the Carib label, if it isn't her last (fifth) LP, it's probably her best (we've seen it priced more than double this); all-new, even livelier recordings of many of her greatest songs (previously recorded for Decca and the very rare first LP on Bahamian Rhythms); Come to the Caribbean, Lizzie Carry Backet on Head, La Bomba, Yellowbird, Chi Chi Merengue, Mango, See Me Low (Similau), La Chita, Anna Macao, Lil' Darlin', Going Down Jordan, Bahama Lullaby
Eloise Lewis: The New & Exciting Eloise Trio; Carib LP-92029; N-/E+ shrink S $50 (or N-/E- S $30, specify) -- calypso; highly desired, scarce, and a highlight of the Carib label, if it isn't her last (fifth) LP, it's probably her best (we've seen it priced more than double this); all-new, even livelier recordings of many of her greatest songs (previously recorded for Decca and the very rare first LP on Bahamian Rhythms); Come to the Caribbean, Lizzie Carry Backet on Head, La Bomba, Yellowbird, Chi Chi Merengue, Mango, See Me Low (Similau), La Chita, Anna Macao, Lil' Darlin', Going Down Jordan, Bahama Lullaby
Lord Flea & his Calypsonians: Swingin' Calypsos; Capitol T-842; V+/E- $30 (or V+/V+ $20, specify) -- one of the most famous and desired calypso/mento LPs, particularly on a major label!; based in California Lord Flea was featured in the film "Bop Girl [Goes Calypso]" (where his banjo-featuring, slick dancing group stole the show, and under the auspices of Les Baxter!), on such TV programs as the Perry Como Show, and headlining at Gene Norman's Crescendo club; the smash hit "Shake, Shake Senora" was used recently in a shampoo commercial and you can bet it will be used again and again (if not many of the rest of the winning songs well-chosen for this much-loved LP): Shake Shake Senora, Shi-Du-Bi-Du-Bab, Bachelor's Life, I Can't Cross Over, Out de Fire, Mister Give Me de Rent, Monkey, Love, Calypso Be Bop (calypso jazz with scat singing!!!), Pretty Woman, Magic Composer, Naughty Little Flea
Lord Jellicoe & his Calypso Monarchs at the Sheraton; WIRL 1040; autographed deep groove E/E+ S $30 (or deep groove N-/E- S $20, specify) -- calypso; The Big Bamboo (not the same as on their other LP with that song), My Pussin, Shame & Scandal, Hold On To Your Man, Wings of a Dove..
Lord Kitchener: Curfew Time; Trinidad TRCS-0001; E-/E+ S $30 -- calypso w/the Sparks & Art de Couteau; Curfew Time, Play Mas, Whait Teacher, Let Them Crow, PP 99, Mas at Madison, True Confession, Ah Go Tell Granny, Jealous Cathy, Black Power
Lord Kitchener: Carnival Fever; Trinidad TRCS-4000; 1975; deep groove E-/V S $20 -- w/the Sparks & Art de Couteau; Soul Train, No Streakers, Fever, Local Wood, Gih We Back We Stadium, Alma Blow, Tell Dem Judges, Tribute to Spree..
Little Joe & his Calypsonians; Elite LPOE-17; 1967; deep groove E/E S $15 -- 13 cuts recorded by "King Eric" Gibson; mainly steel-pan instrumentals but also some pan-free songs; we love the band's home-made sign in the jacket photo; Big Bamboo, Nosey Mother-in-Law, Merci Cherie, Danny Boy, El-Logo, Archie Buck Em Up, Going Home Tonight, Nassau or Jamaica, What Now My Love, Island in the Sun..
MacBeth the Great: Calypso Holiday; Time S-2144; Canadian press E+/N S $40 -- calypso; one of the best, authentic Trinidad calypso LPs collectors still can acquire at a basic price (also one of the best things on Time); first-rate, mostly unusual/original songs: Cab Calloway, Nora, Buy Me a Zeppelin (very catchy--worth it for this alone), Bajan Girl, Bad Bad Whiskey, Outside, Oh Lady You're Mashin' My Toe, Turn Around Girl, Jockey, Ugly Woman..
Vincent Martin & the Bahamians: Island Woman; Island Artists LP-1007; 1957; E/E- $25 (or E-/V+ $20, specify) -- with Peanuts Taylor and [several tunes by] Alice Simms; distinguished by not just D. Pullinger's great jacket art but also top vocals and some very interesting material!: Island Woman, Zombie Jamboree, Liza Open de Door, Calypso Blues, Coconut Water Rum and Gin, Uncle Lou - No Drunken Mon, Uncle Joe, Jamaica Farewell, Lizzie Carry Basket on Head, Little Boy Calypso, Stone Cold Dead, Kitch, Mary Ann
The Fabulous McClevertys; Verve MG-V-2034; c. 1957; all copies deep groove, whether black or orange label E/E+ $30 -- calypso; FANTASTIC early, major-label oddity!; the sole LP by the Charmer (Louis Farrakhan)'s excellent backup group(!) and one of the only calypso LPs ever to get book value for the rock crowd (for killer original "Don't Blame it on Elvis" [for shakin' his pelvis]; nice jacket art & top Verve production; finally, and for us the best reason to love it, 1/3 or more are great covers of Duke of Iron hits (Parakeets, Coldest Woman, Rookombey..
The Mighty Panther Sings Songs of Dynamite; Drum Boy DBLM-1000; sealed $200 (or N-/E- $100, specify) -- calypso; rare LP on obscure Chicago label; top artist whose better-known LP on Art is in big demand; great titles (including at least 3 by Duke of Iron: Big Bamboo, Coldest Woman, I Left Her Behind for You)
Mighty Sparrow: Sparrow the Conqueror; RCA Victor LPB-2035; deep groove E/E+ $75 -- "top-flight calypso"; w/the RCA All-Stars Recording Orchestra & the March of Dimes Quartet; Joey Lewis, Richard Lewis, Carl Lewis, Errol Ince, Frank Joseph, Roderick Borde, Bertram Inniss, Horace Gordon, Clarence Curvan, Harold de Freitas, Conrad Little, Nap Hepburn, Conrad Prescott, Alan Haynes, Marjorie Johnson..; Royal Jail, Freezing in New York, Fowl Thief Melo, Present Government, Thanks to the Guardian..
Mighty Sparrow: Sparrow Come Back; RCA Victor LPB-3006; deep groove E+/N- $60
Mighty Sparrow: Calypso Time; RA-2121; sealed S $35 -- w/the Troubadours; original jacket (clock face) by Izzy Sanabria; Marijuana, Pussy Laughing at Me, Bacchanal, Pogo Stick, Spider, Parables, Zinah, Levez Mako, Queen of the Band, Man Before Morning..
Mighty Sparrow: Live Vol. 2; Hilary/RA-2127; E-/N- $25 -- w/the Troubadours; same # as "At his Best"; Pussy Laughing at Me, Village Ram, Levez Macco, World on an Island, Dam Good Time, Have a Ball, Zhina, Elaine & Harry, Blame it On Me, Sweetness
Mighty Sparrow: Hotter Than Ever; RA-3112; V+/E S $30 -- jacket claims by "Special Request" fans demanded the LP be rushed into production, hence the homemade-looking jacket, which nevertheless has 2 photos; top sound, clear & loud; Rope, Toronto Mas, Winer Girl, Woompoom, Drunk & Disorderly, Miss Ruby, More Cock, Melody 72, No Love, Donkey Car'nt Wine
Sparrow's Troubadours: Jump-Up Time; RA-2126; E/E+ S $25 (or E/E- S $20, specify) -- caribeat, instrumental; 2 highlights are Willie Bobo's Chiquito & Juicy but it's all great consistently (all Sparrow/Kitch): Queen of the Bands, Mas in Madison, Parables, Levey Macco, Play Mas, Pussy Laughing at Me
Mighty Sparrow/Sparrow's Troubadors & Chorus: Hot & Sweet; Warner Bros. BS-2771; 1974; E/N- S $30 (or promo E/E- S $20, specify) -- calypso; vocal; great remakes of his earlier hits and NOT to be confused with earlier LPs by the same title (this one is vocal, not instrumental); TOP SOUND!; update of "Chinese Love Affair" especially is great; also: Sparow Dead, Jane, Maria, More Cock, Mr. Walker, Hello People, English Diplomacy, Who She Go Cry For, Memories
Mighty Sparrow/Sparrow's Troubadors: N.Y.C. Blackout; Charlie's Records CR-139; 1977; deep groove V+/N- S $20 -- one of his best '70s LPs; King Kong, Rastamania, Pa Pa Rat (Pussy So Fat), Life Down in Hell, Du Du Yemi (Black Beauty), New York Blackout '77, [First Black] Miss Universe, Idi Amin, The Pan Tuner
Mighty Sparrow: Congo Man; National NLP-5050; pasteover E+/as is FREE* -- one of the most striking b/w jackets ever!; offered for the jacket only but we'll include the rough disc too unless you tell us you don't want it; *FREE with purchase of 3 or more Mighty Sparrow LPs or equivalent (enough of something else)
Enid Mosier & her Trinidad Steel Band: Hi-Fi Calypso, etc.; Columbia CL-928; 1st/black 6-eye/deep groove E+/E+ $35 (or same but E-/E- $20, specify) -- crossover calypso (NOT STEEL BAND!); the group was with her in "House of Flowers" (the Clarence Williams Trio appears too); fortunately it's not a steel band at all but spirited calypso backing a great singer; like Josephine Premice and Eartha Kitt (and this LP is mandatory if you appreciate those two), she's a first-rate [Broadway] entertainer as well as a decent, unique, captivating interpreter of calypso; as you expect with Premice & Kitt, the songs are nearly all unusual/original and it's one of the best things in calypso on the label; 16 songs!: Satan's Little Lamb, Coconut, Boy Days, Chant Song, Tinga-Layo, Petit Brun Doux Doux, Buds Won't Bud..
[Bill Fleming w/] Bill La Motta: Songs the Virgins Love; Westindy ST-1002; deep groove N/N- shrink S $30 (or deep groove E+/E S $20, specify) -- calypso/calypso jazz/Latin jazz; famous for the jacket but also a truly lovely record and unlike the general run of calypso (piano, unusual songs, solos); Castle in St. Thomas, Alfredo Boy, Marvella, More and More of Your Amor, Yellow Bird, Mister Monday Mornin', Mills of Old St. Croix, Island Girl Audrey, Moon Bolero, Brown Skin Girl, Island in the Sun, Lovin' Ole Women
The Percentie Brothers: Songs in Calypso by the Percentie Brothers; Art LP-8; w/catalog E/E+ $30 (or V+/V $20, specify) -- similar to label-mate Blind Blake but so much rarer; Oh Liza See Me Here!, The 'Briland Rumba, Royal Telephone, Linstead Market, Lord Got Tomatoes, Heaven is So High, Bimini Gal, Foolish Frog, The Zelma Rose, Lita
"Ivy" Pete & his Limbomaniacs: Limbo Party; Alshire/Somerset SF-17600; N-/N S $25 (or top seam split E/E+ S $20, specify) -- calypso/blue-eyed calypso/Latin; one of the best "blue-eyed" calypso LPs, which may not be saying much but this party album has charms beyond mirroring authentic calypso for the crossover or casual consumer--treat it as groovy period decor or a fun record, either way it's a nice one; well done and great sound; hall-of-fame jacket (featured on the cover of one of the "Incredible Strange Music" books and finally done justice here); Jamaica Farewell, Brown Skin Gal, Sly Mongoose, I Adore Her, Donkey Wants Water, Limbo Man, Mary Ann, Somebody Bad Stole de Wedding Bell, Liza See Me Here, Peas & Rice, Man Smart Woman Smarter, Limbo All de Way Home
Louis Polliemon w/"Lord" Preston Epps: Calypso Trinidad; Crown CLP-5031; deep groove E-/E+ $35 (or deep groove E-/E- $25, specify) -- crossover calypso/bongo/shango; while "Calypso Trinidad" is a misnomer, the great news is it's the fantastic original bongo-rocker (and later Afro-funker) Preston Epps on bongo with Jamaican Louis Polliemon singing (kinda rapping); one of those real treasures on Crown (rare, unique, and very good despite the limitations of the label), not to mention that holiest of holies, a full Preston Epps LP! (BTW, Epps can be seen performing in the Ted Mikels cult film, "The Girl in the Gold Boots"); unusual tunes and style (bongos!) plus a great jacket photo; Camelia, 10 Penny Nails, Bed Bug, The Rooster Fight, Beautiful American Girl, Dumbalai ("Dumbala"--Shango cult song!!!), Whose Your Husband Josephina, Teena & the Bamboo, Divorce, Louispolieman Brown, Calypso Tina
Josephine Premice: "Caribe"--Josephine Premice Sings Calypso; Verve MG V-2067; 1st/deep groove E/E- $50 -- calypso-crossover; rarer, first, and better of two fantastic LPs by star Eartha Kitt rival (also a famous Katherine Dunham dancer/singer/actress), both fantastic and easily the most exciting/desirable of all calypso LPs made by non-calypsonians; mainly unusual songs, such as several from Broadway calypso features; Two Ladies in de Shade of de Banana Tree, The Man I Love, Island Wind, Rookombey (GREAT!!!), Talk to Me, It Never Happens to Me, No No Joe, Taking a Chance on Love, Chicken Gumbo, Song of the Jumbies (AWESOME!!!), The Thief, Mind Over Matter
Josephine Premice Sings Calypso; GNP Crescendo GNP-24; white label deep groove E+/V+ $30 -- calypso; Eartha Kitt rival (famous dancer/singer/actress) made 2 LPs, both fantastic & easily the most exciting/desirable of all calypso LPs made by non-calypsonians; w/Norman & Armstead Shobey, bongo & conga; Choucoune, Mommy Out de Light, Hollywood Calypso, Siesta, Lost Watch, Sweetie Joe, You Ugly Son of an Animal..
Pat Rolle Sings Calypso; Carib LP-92014; 1973; E/N- S $30 -- ex-lead of The Montagu Three Plus One in a rare solo vehicle; Coconut Woman, Delia Gone, Angelina, Island Woman, Destiny, Calypso Medley (Little Nassau, Bahama Mama), Goombay, Malady d'Amour, The Sand & the Sea, Piano Medley (Temptation, Granada), "John B." Sail, La Mer
Edmundo Ros has his own subpage (under Latin)
Stan Seymour (Lord Necktie): Carnival Jump Up (jacket: Calypso Carnival); Edmar ELPS-1116 (Canada); autographed black label N/N S $15 (or silver label E+/N S $15, specify) -- top Bermudan calypso star's best LP, from just after winning the crown in 1971; nice music too, incl. organ; Big Bamboo, Sally in She Hot Pants, Mama Love Carnival, Locust & Wild Honey, Marje & Jacob, Womens Liberation..
Stan Seymour: Lord Necktie Sings Songs of Bermuda; Edmar ELPS-1161 (Canada); sealed S $20 -- top Bermudan calypso star does all originals in his 4th LP for the label: Calypso is Sweet, Soap Operas, Festival Time, Bermuda Triangle, Traffic Calypso, Sunset in Bermuda, Heritage Calypso, Lost Me Bamboo (fans of "The Big Bamboo" take note!), Kiskadee, Golf Lessons, Bermuda My Island, Rainbow
Tony Seymour & the Nightbeaters: [I'm Over You] More of Tony Seymour & the Nightbeaters; Elite LP-OE-15; deep groove E/E S $15 -- calypso/pop; far rarer second LP by the group (who'd covered Alvin Cash's "Twine Time" on the previous LP), definitely an opportunity for collectors of the Elite label; Love and Affection, Stand By Me, Loving Feelings, Island in the Sun, Shame and Scandal, Again, Yesterday, I Am Over You, Gloria, Someday, Born Free, The Crow
Roy Shurland & the Big Bamboo Orchestra: The Big Bamboo; Carib LP-2015[-S] (stereo); 1961; deep groove, color jacket back N-/E+ S $35 (or deep groove, color jacket back E+/E+ S $30, specify) (or signed by Fred Callendar's Combo E-/N- S $30, specify) (or deep groove E+/E- shrink S $25, specify) -- calypso; one of the best, most desired/essential LPs on the great label (Shurland also made the very first LP for the label); you get not one but three great "big bamboos:" (1) signature version of the title song (funniest "naughty" calypso of all time, long associated with Duke of Iron and later Mighty Sparrow), (2) the hip Big Bamboo logo jacket, and (3) jacket-back photo of the historic Big Bamboo Club in Nassau where it was recorded; with Little Sparrow, Tony Alleyne, Jack Roker, Lord Cody, Eric Roker; YOU NEED THIS!!!; Monkey Song, Gloria, Kingston Market, These are the Times, John B. Sail, Garret Bounce, [The] Big Bamboo, Junkanoo in Nassau, Land of the Sun & the Sea, Yellow Bird (Choucoune), Bahama Lullaby, Brown Skin Gal Medley
Roy Shurland & the Big Bamboo Orchestra: The Big Bamboo; Carib LP-2015; 1961; E/E+ $20 -- the mono alternative is very affordable, very reliable, and just as big
Gene & Pinky Steede: Step Through a Moongate with Gene & Pinky Steede; GG-2; AUTOGRAPHED! deep groove N-/E- $15 -- calypso/torch/lounge act; w/Hugo Pedell Orchestra dir. George Cort, James Gregory; prod. Don Gibson; rare wonder of strange, swinging, pop/lounge-act stuff from Bermuda; unusual songs w/bongo accents; great jacket art; Step Through a Moongate, Loads of Lovely Love, Spanish Harlem, Ugliness, Island, The Sweetest Sounds, Country Boy..
George Symonette & his Goombay Sextette (w/Peanuts Taylor): Calypso & Goombay Rhythms; Bahama Records 4; (c)1955; orange label N/V+ $25 -- calypso; great, rare; Little Nassau, I Kissed her Hand (but I Left her Behind for You), Jones Oh Jones, Man Smart Woman Smarter, Cotton-n-Corn, Like Ma-ad, Bahama Lullaby, Calypso Man
George Symonette & his Calypso Sextette: "Goombay"--The Folk Songs of the Bahamas; Art/Bahama Records ALP-14A; 1957; deep groove E+/E+ $40 (or AUTOGRAPHED E+/V+ $20, specify) -- calypso; major '50s star of the Bahamas in the original group of acclaimed drummer Berkley "Peanuts" Taylor; great jacket, liners, 14 songs--terrific scarce LP of classic material!; Peas & Rice, Sponger Money, Delia Gone, Eight Babies, Love Alone, J.P. Morgan, Goombay, Boat Pull Out-Bahama Mama
George Symonette: Calypso & Goombay Rhythms; Bahama BR-26; (c)1957; E/V $20 -- calypso; Bahamian superstar w/acclaimed drummer Berkley "Peanuts" Taylor; his final mono-only LP offers 12 songs (Bloodshot Eyes, Nassau Samba, All Suit No Man..), mostly by Alice Simms plus a couple by himself and others; some wear is heard but given the scarcity it's worth putting up with, priced accordingly
Talbot Brothers subpage
Berkley "Peanuts" Taylor & Others: Showtime at the Drumbeat; Tropical CLP-2471; E/N- S $25 -- calypso/calypso jazz/Latin jazz; essential for four cuts of prime Peanuts "solo on bongos, goombay, and congo drums"; rest of the LP is a nice collection of Richie Delamore (4 songs: Limbo, Matilda, Yellow Bird, Island in the Sun), Eloise Lewis (2 songs: Chi Chi Merengue, La Bamba), and one each by Luis Perez (La Agarradera), Pat Rolle (John B. Sail), and Bullumba Landostoy (Sin Ti); rounded out by a beautiful jacket!; NOTE: Not the same as the mono LP by the same title!
Wesley Thomas Combo; Stella T-503; deep groove E-/N- $40 -- one of just a handful of unusual LPs (all scarce!) by leading Vigin Islands small group--rarer still in top shape such as this!; Race Tracks Scandal, Royal Jail, Bugle Merengue, Pachanga, Festival Calypso, Goza Cha Cha Cha, Melo Twist, Licks in the Police, Yellow Bird, St. Croix Country Dance, Tipitin, Beautiful Girl
Wesley Thomas Combo: Calypso Holiday in the Virgin Islands; Stella 0159; deep groove E/E- $30 -- scarce US Virgin Isles group stretches out into pop and Latin as well as serves up more of their unique calypso; The River, Pussycat Ruthy and the Cash Pan, The Clock, I Confess, St. Croix by the Sea, Mack the Knife, You Go to My Head, Crazy Love, Pachanga, Coqui, Begin the Beguine, Sugar Time
Roy Thompson & the Cocoanut Vendors: Ambassador of Calypso; Request RLP-8029; deep groove E/E $25 -- semi-authentic calypso (or mento, for you purists) by Jamaican singer--somewhat like Herb Jeffries or Robert Mitchum in that sense; nice jacket & production; unique songs: Stay Away, Zelma, Devil's Island Rock Pile, Italian Calypso, Things are Bad, Montego Bay, What a Calamity, Brother Ramgoat, The Constant Lover, Sally's Ghost..
Maureen Du Valiera w/Lad Richards Calypso Orchestra: A Calypso Mama Sings; Art ALP-17 (a.k.a. Calypso Mama); E-/V $25 -- hard wear but plays reasonably; too scarce & important & great to pass up if you don't have it; great jacket design
John Buddy Williams Band: The Drums of Trinidad (Equatorial Jazz/Drums of Trinidad); Cook 1045; translucent brown vinyl, deep groove V+/E $40 (or vector-stereo in generic black Cook jacket E/V+ S $20, specify) (or BOTH $50, specify) -- calypso jazz/percussion; among all the heavy, early ethno-drum LPs, this is truly exciting, intense, and fantastic (good as any on the label and there are some great ones!); "tribal rhythms from Carriacou/6-man drum orchestra recorded in Little Carib Theatre in Port of Spain"--starring the John Buddy Williams Band; Calypso in Drums, Drumology, Primitif, Nation, Koromanti, Manding, Halicord, Congo, Calinda
calypso LPs (above) | compilation LPs | 45s & 78s | Caribeat | Haiti | wants
© Hip Wax