Plans are underway to erect a statue of the Trinidad born, raised in Tobago, calypso superstar, Winston “The Shadow” Bailey.
Chairman of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation (TUCO) Tobago, Ainsley King, revealed that the Executive of TUCO Tobago has already taken a decision to erect a statue in honour of the international calypso superstar in tribute to the massive contribution he made to calypso and soca music. “TUCO Tobago will now be seeking talks with the Tobago House of Assembly’s (THA) Chief Secretary, Orville London in order to collaborate with the THA on the project”.
The TUCO Tobago Chairman noted that “the statue for Shadow will be the first [of three] and will be followed by statues of Calypso Rose and Lord Nelson.”
The announcement comes as the “Calypso King of the world”, The Mighty Sparrow, received the nation’s highest award for his contribution to Art and Culture in Trinidad and Tobago. The Grenadian born, Slinger Francisco, ”Sparrow” was presented with the Order of Trinidad and Tobago last Tuesday night by the President of the Republic at the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port of Spain. He is the first calypsonian to receive the prestigious award.
After Sparrow and Kitchener established a stranglehold on the National Road March title from 1962 to 1973, it was Shadow who broke their long span of dominance when he turned the nation upside down with his ‘monster’ hit ‘Bassman’ in 1974. His Road March victory of that year signalled a radical change in the musical structure and orientation of calypso music.
King indicated that “the Education and Research Department of TUCO Tobago was already in the process of putting together a compilation of Shadow’s achievements for the project”.
King, who is also the Vice President of TUCO National, told the Tobago News that, “It is wonderful that the government has taken such a decision because it would help to send a signal to the world, that we, in Trinidad and Tobago, have begun to appreciate the practitioners of our calypso art who have done monumental work in promoting our nation state far and wide.”