Fiche Personne
Chanteur/euse

Calypso Rose

Trinité-et-Tobago

Français

Pendant cinq ans, (de 1973 à 1977), elle est couronnée Calypso Queen, mais ne peut concourir avec les hommes.

Sa persistance finit par payer. Première femme à gagner la Road March en 1977, cette victoire lui ouvre les portes de la compétition suprême. Un véritable triomphe ! C’est bien simple, avant sa victoire, on parlait de Calypso King, après, on a rebaptisé le trophée Calypso Monarch. L’indiscutable reine du Calypso, et la grande copine de Sparrow.

English

Mc Cartha Lewis, sobriquet Calypso Rose, is the undisputed Calypso Queen of the World. To acquire a double Compact Disc of her works is a privilege that calypso lovers should cherish.
To say it is a ³must have² is an understatement when one considers the achievements of this superstar and ambassador
of Trinidad and Tobago.

Rose was born in Bethel, Tobago. She was the fifth child of eleven children, her father being a spiritual Baptist leader. At age nine, she moved to Barataria, in Trinidad. In 1955 she composed her first Calypso after witnessing a man stealing the spectacles off of a lady¹s face in the Croissée, San Juan. In the calypso she advised Tobagonians to stay at home, because Trinidad was no place for them.

She first called herself ³Crusoe Kid² but the late Spoiler, and tent members Piggy and Spike changed her name to Calypso Rose ­ the Mother of all Flowers.

In 1963, she travelled outside of Trinidad and Tobago for the first time.
She covered the islands from Grenada to St. Thomas. Little known is the fact that she won the Calypso King contest and
the Roadmarch in St. Thomas singing Cooperation, her first recording. In 1965 she wrote Fire in Meh Wire, her trademark song, which is included on this double CD. The first verse was written in St. Croix, the second verse in Barbados and the final verse in Trinidad. In 1967 she recorded it on Sparrow¹s National Label and competed with it for the Calypso Crown in 1968. Although Kitchener won the Roadmarch that year with Miss Tourist, it was Fire in Meh Wire that carried revellers through
the streets that year and the year after.

She followed up with Palet and The Bicycle in 1968. Two years later she released Rosie making a Baby, and Engagement Ring both of which are featured in a medley on Disc 1. Rose then migrated to New York in 1974 and bounced back with the hot
Do Dem Back in 1975 to be the runner-up behind Kitchener for the Roadmarch. She also placed third in the Calypso finals, but more importantly the song won her a Gold record in New York.

Finally in 1977 she officially won her first Roadmarch with Tempo. This was a significant achievement making her the first female to win the coveted title. On a personal side she also graduated in criminology in the USA that year. On a roll, she did the double in 1978 winning both the Roadmarch with Come Leh we Jam and the National Monarch Title singing Her Majesty and I Thank Thee. Her Majesty also placed second in the Roadmarch race, a unique feat. Come Leh we jam came from a dream she had while in Tortola. In her dream she saw a tall African lady chanting. She then saw a blackboard with letters on it. She woke and wrote the tune without stopping.

It should also be recorded that she won the Calypso Queen titles from 1974 ­ 1978. Now that she had ensured that the Calypso Final would never be referred to as the Calypso King Contest again, she chose to stay out of competition having achieved the highest calypso pinnacle. She continued however to produce a variety of hits, many of which are featured on this production. They include Gun Play in De Parkway, We Rocking for Carnival, Soca Tempo, and Balance Wheel. In 1982 she became an auxiliary Policewoman in New York.

Her achievements and honours are numerous and following are just a few of them. She was made an honorary citizen of Belize in 1982. She later composed Leh we Punta – a tribute to Belize in 1987. In 1986 she had a key role in the movie ³One Hand Cyar Clap². She received a Sunshine Award in 1989. In 1991, tribute was paid to her by the National Women¹s Action Committee, (NWAC), for her achievements in Calypso. Fittingly she sang Fire in Meh Wire that has been sung in eight different languages and can be considered her signature song. She was granted the keys to the city of Ontario, Canada from the Mayor of St. Catherine in 1993. In the early nineties she visited Liberia where an elementary school was named after her. She was also elected as an ambassador at large for Liberia. Her strong African connection, is illustrated by the songs Zulu Chant and Livere Oshu Tabu Koo. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago honoured her with a Humming Bird Medal for Culture in 2000. In 2003 she received the keys to the city of Arima and Port of Spain from the respective Mayors.

More recently she featured in two movies, ³Calypso Dreams² and ³Calypso @ Dirty Jim¹s². In both cases at live promotional performances she literally ³mash up de place². In Los Angeles, popular American performer Bonnie Raitt joined her on stage to perform Wha she go do at a preview of ³Calypso Dreams². And at Cirque d¹Hiver in France she brought the house down with the launching of ³Calypso @ Dirty Jim¹s²

Every tune that Rose sings has a distinctive flavour to give you the full gamut of the broad range of compositions by this gifted artiste.