Eloise Lewis, Bahamas

Most female calypsonians sing in an oddly high-pitched voice, unless it's an affectation, a copied style. The most famous "Bahama Mama" from the hi-fi LP era, and no doubt an inspiration to countless imitators, was Eloise Lewis, the First Lady of Bahamian Song. Born in Jacksonville, Forida but raised in Nassau, she studied guitar and began singing publicly at the age of thirteen. She headlined at the Drumbeat and toured Europe and North America. The original Goombay Trio which accompanied her consisted of George Wilson, bass, "Peanuts" Taylor, drums, and "Barbalou," maraccas. Her renditions of "Similau" and "Coconut Woman" are priceless, and her other experiments with Latin, folk songs, ballads, and added sounds are among the more successful in calypso.

Buying: Skip none. All of her records are great and moderately hard to find.

Eloise Trio LPs

7Eloise Lewis & her Goombay Trio; Bahamian Rhythms BRH-23; 1956
7The Eloise Trio; Decca DL-78983; 1960
7The Exciting Eloise Trio; Decca DL-74077
7Come to the Caribbean & Meet the Exciting Eloise Trio; Decca DL-74293
8The New & Exciting Eloise Trio; Carib LP-2029-S (at least some remakes of earlier hits)

Partly Eloise Trio LPs

8Various: Calypso--Musical Americana in Hi-Fi; Columbia Custom/Hi-Fi Library of the World's Greatest Music S3-308 (uncredited w/Eloise Lewis--"Tina Masse" only; Bahamas; Nassau Blues, La Cruz, Bahama Brown Baby, Nassau Cha Cha Cha, Nassau Merengue, Jolly Junkanoo, Tina Masse, Baila en Cha Cha Cha, Oh Mr. Brown, Down de Road, Johnny Cake)
7Various: Carnival in Paradise; Carib LP-2036-S; c.1962 ("Come to the Caribbean" only)
7Various: Hits from Bahama Hot Spots; Bahama BRL-21; 1956 ("The Naughty Flea")
6Various: Nassau's Junkanoo Festival; Bahama BRL-22; 1956 ("I Need It" & "Digby")
8Various: A Nation is Born--A Musical History of the Bahamas; Bahamas Nationhood Ltd.; 1973 (unique [live] material & rare!!!; note by Sidney Poitier; w/Eloise, Beginning of the End, Blind Blake, Ronnie Butler..)
7Various: Showtime at the Drumbeat; Tropical LP-2471; 1964 ("Chi Chi Merengue" & "La Bamba" from Carib LP-2029)

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