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Support Black Stalin; time to rally behind our calypso legend

Leroy Calliste or, as he is better known, the “Black Stalin” is no ordinary Calypsonian. He has used his artistic ability to be a voice of the nation. His entire career has been about “taking care of de people business.”

Photo: Five-time Calypso Monarch, the Black Stalin. (Courtesy NCCTT.org)
Photo: Five-time Calypso Monarch, the Black Stalin.
(Courtesy NCCTT.org)

I became a Stalin fan before I ever dreamed of being a radio disc jockey. I remember watching Calypso Monarch on television with my grandparents as this dark man sang: “All ah we name man. Two foot and two hand. Anything you do, I could do it too…”

That night this Laventille boy decided I could do anything I wanted to, because “all ah we name man.”

Now, I want to do something for him and I hope you do too.

This Carnival season, I’m calling on all Black Stalin fans, friends and other artistes in Trinidad and Tobago to buy a “Black Stalin Live – Collector’s Edition” CD, so Stalin would not have to miss earning an income this season. It will also go a long way towards facilitate his ongoing physical and vocal therapies.

Stalin’s career is dedicated to singing to our better angels as citizens of T&T.

When there was oil money in the 1970’s, Stalin sang, “Piece of the action” telling the Government to “pinch off our little piece of dough before yuh start sending away big loans.”

Then came a recession and Stalin’s refrain was: “We can make it if we try, just a little harder.”

People wanted to know his political party and he replied: “Keep yuh party card, it’s not necessary… I got to do, what little that I can do, wholeheartedly for de country.”

Rising divorce rates became an issue and Stalin wrote of one of the greatest love songs, “No woman no” in which he sang: “We done make one vow, we cah tun back now.”

Photo: Calypso star Black Stalin. (Courtesy Tuco)
Photo: Calypso star Black Stalin.
(Courtesy Tuco)

When racial insecurities arose after the election of Trinidad and Tobago’s first Prime Minister of East Indian decent, Stalin decided to sing “Sundar” and, one of my all time favourites, “Sufferers”…

“They don’t care about colour… Sufferers don’t care about race…. Sufferers only care about where the next meal coming from.”

Most people love his party hit, “Black man feeling to party” without noting that Dr Leroy Calliste was once again promoting social order. He did not take any woman to the party, he took his wife, who spent years raising “we children” so they “could jam.”

When a Mirror editorial accused Stalin of selling out by singing “Black man feeling to party”, he responded the following year with “Come wid it” where he accused the “reporter man” of hypocrisy and pointed out that if he had sang “he took his deputy” the reporter would probably have been okay with that.

The “Black Stalin Live Collector’s Edition” is a special recording. Sixteen songs selected by Black Stalin and Roy Cape and performed live in Stalin’s hometown of San Fernando at Naparima College.

At times during the concert, the music is broken down to a sort of jazz hybrid with songs like “Love yuh Own,” “Black man Doh get nothing easy” and “Man to Man.”

In uptempo tracks like “Wait Dorothy wait,” musical genius Roy Cape and his Kaiso All Stars take our music to another level. Roy Cape’s musical director, Juice Man, describes it as the sweetest CD he ever had. Stalin calls it the best of his work.

Photo: Trinidad Tobago's five-time Calypso Monarch, the Black Stalin. (Courtesy Radionz.co.nz)
Photo: Trinidad Tobago’s five-time Calypso Monarch, the Black Stalin.
(Courtesy Radionz.co.nz)

This carnival Stalin is alive. He is fighting the good fight. Now is the time for us to support him, when he can appreciate the love we all have for him.

Too often we wait until a loved one is gone to express how much we care about them. Let’s do this for Stalin. Pick up a CD for $100 TTD and buy one as a gift for a friend abroad, and encourage all your friends to do same.

Stalin cannot work but his music can work for him this Carnival. Doesn’t he deserve it?

 

Editor’s Note: The “Black Stalin Live – Collector’s Edition” CD is available at Crosby’s Music Centre in Trinidad. You can contact them at 622-Soca to find out the nearest outlet or by email at crosbysmusic@gmail.com.

You can also purchase the CD at all TUCO Tents or Calypso Fiesta at Skinner Park. Once you get a copy, share your thoughts with us.

AboutEric St Bernard

Eric St Bernard
Eric A St Bernard is a mass media glutton and want-to-be calypso and soca activist. He holds a MSc in TV/Radio from Brooklyn College and has worked extensively, in Caribbean music formats in Trinidad & NYC, events promotions and media advertising.

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54 comments

  1. Black Stalin Live – Collector’s Edition CD…we should support !

  2. Will buy it but not here in Tobago. No legal CDs in Tobago! Sad.

  3. Well now that you mentioned meh St. James family by injection eh, Earl Crosby I to will validate you all so keep up the great work that you all are doing man. Blessings.

  4. Your concern is valid Earl. However, Earl Crosby and myself believe our credibility is worth more than money and anyone in our entertainment industry will validate us. But I understand your concern. Time will tell. Thanks!

  5. The last time it was said that all funds will go to the Akeem Adams account eh and that was a big lie steeuuppss Them really good yes.

  6. Yeah it’s $1,000 for a ticket. All 100% of ticket sales donated to the Black Man. In other words, half million will go to Leroy if the show is sold out. The show promoter is UWI .

  7. I’m trying to get more information on where people can get those CDs and I will add it to the story.

  8. Will they ship abroad? I can’t find anything on the link

    • Lasana Liburd

      Editor’s Note: The “Black Stalin Live – Collector’s Edition” CD is available at Crosby’s Music Centre in Trinidad. You can contact them at 622-Soca to find out the nearest outlet or by email at crosbysmusic@gmail.com.
      You can also purchase the CD at all TUCO Tents or Calypso Fiesta at Skinner Park. Once you get a copy, share your thoughts with us.

  9. Hannibal Najjar

    Lasana – I’d gladly commit to this CD-purchase request. Will I be able to do this following February 18th? How unwell is he?

  10. Imagine Stalin has so many hits that my three favourites didn’t get a mention: Bun Dem, Keep the chalice burning and Wait Dorothy Wait!

  11. I read “oil down” there and got hungry yes… Time for a bite! Lol

  12. I’m going to update my collection as well. My own love for Stalin started when he sang “Bun Dem.” And I love “Keep the chalice smoking…”

  13. I remember since a lil boy and calypso tent gone up in the night . People use to say look black stalin on the stage and i use to say where .

  14. Besides, oil is down so this is the perfect opportunity for us to learn selfreliance.

  15. I now reach home from work looking to go in my bed and now this song is in my head. Thanks Wired868 😉

  16. In anthropology class we learned there is no such thing as a free gift……….EVER!

    Absolutely nothing in life is ever given without the tacit or explicit understanding that something is expected in return.

    The man who does for himself owes no one!

    • And those who do themselves the favour of buying this CD, I think, will owe no one one black cent for all the hours of pleasure (s)he gets in return. And they are right to expect it. So the Anthropology lectures were right on the mark.

  17. Time for me to update my Stalin collection!

  18. Nobody turns down oil money Vernal Damion Cadogan. Otherwise I agree 😉

  19. What a great idea. Definitely buying the CD. Thanks Wired868!

  20. Thank you Eric St. Bernard. Will rally the troops!

  21. Soca artistes really ought to form a guild of their own, seeking and accepting no government funding. The guild should raise funds through annual events both at home and abroad, and it’s proceeds go towards helping artistes in need, establishing a museum, copywriting and protecting their music and intellectual property, maintaining the culture and educating the public.

    If they looked to their futures they wouldn’t find themselves here, they wouldn’t have to rely so heavily on the charity of others and they would better be able to maintain their dignity in old age and poor health.

  22. Stalin is my all time favourite and one of the best. When I first heard ” black man feeling to party”, my pores raised. Here was a true black man telling his black brothers to respect their women. Love you Staln and it is a privilege for me to purchase your CD.

  23. I agree with public support of our icons. We’ve seen how terribly wrong things could turn when we rely on government to do our job.

  24. OMG I WANT THIS… I grew up listening to Stalin… My granny was a huge fan so much that when she died we played some of his songs as she was being interred…

  25. I love this article. My dad is a big Stalin fan…I would get the CD for him for sure

  26. Lasana I in that….here is an extraordinary ordinary man showing what class is all about.

  27. If he was that good, then there’d be no need for sympathy money. Trinidad’s quickly turning into a welfare state where people don’t know or value the importance or hard work and proper financial planning.

    • TK,
      I don’t know who you are but I have a good idea what you are. Decency and decorum, however, prevent me from telling you here in public. Go brave, my brother (or sister); God be with you.

  28. I’m getting the CD for sure! Hyatt’s kind of steep for me, although the lineup is fantastic!

  29. This article may reach and receive concurrence in the Caribbean and the wider Caribbean community elsewhere. Trust that a published CD outlet list, would reach all of Stalin’s fans and believers.

    • Lasana Liburd

      Good point. I will try to get that list of outlets.

    • Lasana Liburd

      Editor’s Note: The “Black Stalin Live – Collector’s Edition” CD is available at Crosby’s Music Centre in Trinidad. You can contact them at 622-Soca to find out the nearest outlet or by email at crosbysmusic@gmail.com.
      You can also purchase the CD at all TUCO Tents or Calypso Fiesta at Skinner Park. Once you get a copy, share your thoughts with us.

  30. When I get home I will check the malls. If I need ur help I will msg u. Thanks!

  31. Let’s support our own icon. We can only criticise the Gov’t after we ourselves contribute…

  32. We are pretty sure it will be in the usual record stores and probably at the malls as well. But we do not have a definitive list of the shops.

  33. Would this cd be available at all record stores in tnt?

    • Editor’s Note: The “Black Stalin Live – Collector’s Edition” CD is available at Crosby’s Music Centre in Trinidad. You can contact them at 622-Soca to find out the nearest outlet or by email at crosbysmusic@gmail.com.
      You can also purchase the CD at all TUCO Tents or Calypso Fiesta at Skinner Park. Once you get a copy, share your thoughts with us.

  34. I’ll get the ticket info Debbie. It’s probably reasonable though. All funds go to the Black man.

  35. Would love to go but this pocket doh have beer money far less for Hyatt money.

  36. Funny every time i hear ” Blackman feeling to Party” i remember my late Parents 50th wedding anniversary and dancing down the place in Winnipeg and my Dad saying “but eh eh where you learn to wine so” That was 23 yrs ago. He will have my support.

  37. There is also a concert in his honour on the Sunday after carnival at the Hyatt. Don’t miss it it
    It’ll be great.

  38. He’s still in recovery from the stroke