He started as a calypso singer in Trinidad under the stage name Lord Creator & recorded his first hits, “The Cockhead” & “Evening News”, in Trinidad in 1958 & 1959 respectively with Fitz Vaughan Bryan’s big band. Due to the success of his hit “Evening News” which was released in Trinidad on the Cook label and also in the UK on the Melodisc label, he moved to Jamaica in the late 1959 to perform & record & decided to settle there. In 1962, he recorded “Independent Jamaica” with producer Vincent “Randy” Chin, which became the official song marking Jamaica’s independence from the British Empire on 6 August 1962. That song was also the first record on Chris Blackwell’s newly founded Island Records label in the UK. In 1963, “Don’t Stay Out Late”, produced by Chin, became a hit in Jamaica.

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Born OTD in 1923, Trinidad-born writer, Samuel ‘Sam’ Selvon. At Waterloo Station, hopeful new arrivals from the West Indies step off the boat train, ready to start afresh in 1950s London. There, homesick Moses Aloetta, who has already lived in the city for years, meets Henry ‘Sir Galahad’ Oliver and shows him the ropes. In this strange, cold and foggy city where the natives can be less than friendly at the sight of a black face, has Galahad met his Waterloo?

But the irrepressible newcomer cannot be cast down. He and all the other lonely new Londoners – from shiftless Cap … More

Born OTD in 1922, internationally known Trinidadian calypsonian, Lord ‘Kitch’ Kitchener. He toured Jamaica for six months in 1947-8 with Lord Beginner (Egbert Moore) and Lord Woodbine (Harold Philips) before they took passage on the Empire Windrush to England in 1948. Upon his arrival, Kitchener performed the specially-written song “London Is the Place for Me”, which he sang live on a report for Pathé News.

Combining factual biography with the imaginative structure and investment in the language of the novel, Anthony Joseph fully engages with … More

Born OTD in 1901, Cyril Lionel Robert James, was a Trinidadian historian, journalist, socialist & widely known as a writer on cricket. His works are influential in various theoretical, social, and historiographical contexts. His work is a staple of subaltern studies, and he figures as a pioneering and influential voice in postcolonial literature.

C.L.R. James is one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable individuals. As the author of the influential book The Black … More

Combining factual biography with the imaginative structure & investment in the language of the novel, Joseph fully engages with the world he recreates, & by presenting a multifaceted view from Kitch’s friends, rivals & even enemies, he gets to the heart of the man behind the music & the myth, reaching behind the sobriquet to present a holistic portrait of the calypso icon Lord Kitchener.

Born into colonial Trinidad in 1922 as Aldwyn Roberts, ‘Kitch’ emerged in the 1950s, at the forefront of multicultural Britain, … More