Rhythm and Blues Goes Calypso by Timothy Dodge
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Overview: Starting in 1945 and continuing for the next twenty years, dozens of African American rhythm and blues artists made records that incorporated West Indian calypso. Some of these recordings were remakes or adaptations of existing calypsos, but many were original compositions. Several, such as “Stone Cold Dead in de Market” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan or “If You Wanna Be Happy” by Jimmy Soul, became major hits in both the rhythm and blues and pop music charts. While most remained obscurities, the fact that over 170 such recordings were made during this time period suggests that there was sustained interest in calypso among rhythm and blues artists and record companies during this era.
Genre: Non-Fiction > General