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Mighty Sparrow

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  • Born: Grandroy Bay, Grenada
  • Years Active: 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

With his ultra-sweet vocals and lyrics that speak of romance and topical politics, Mighty Sparrow (born Slinger Francisco) rose to the upper echelon of Trinidadian calypso. Best known for his hits "Jean and Dinah" in 1956 and "Carnival Boycott" in 1957, Sparrow is an 11-time winner of the calypso monarchy and an eight-time winner of Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival Road March competition. Born to a poor working-class family in Gran Roi, a small fishing village in Grenada, Sparrow moved to Trinidad at the age of one. Learning to sing in the boy's choir of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, he became the head choirboy. At the age of 14, he formed a steel band to perform at the Carnival, sparking his interest in calypso. Teaching himself to play guitar, Sparrow began to write his own songs. Winning the Carnival competition with "Jean and Dinah," he received a grand prize of 40 dollars. In protest, he wrote a scorching indictment of the Trinidadian music industry, "Carnival Boycott." Despite his refusal to compete in the Carnival contests for the next three years, Sparrow became one of the Caribbean's most successful artists.

eMusic Features

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New This Week: Cloud Nothings, Craig Finn and More

By J. Edward Keyes, Editor-in-Chief

The first HUGE new release day of 2012, so strap in and get ready for a pretty comprehensive rundown! Dave Sumner's got your jazz picks, and I've got the rest. Here we go! Cloud Nothings, Attack on Memory: ALBUM OF THE DAY. Dylan Baldi grows up in a nanosecond, making a snarling rock record that hurtles forward with the speed and fury of a meteor. The sonic touchstones here are '90s emo greats like Jawbreaker, the… more »

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The World According to the Mighty Sparrow

By Richard Gehr, Contributor

Mighty Sparrow is the magical materialist of Caribbean music. This signifying superstar's faith resides in those things he can hold in his hands (or arms), that move his feet, or that alter the ebb and flow of daily life in the West Indies. Sparrow's first record, "Jean and Dinah" explored what effect the departure of relatively affluent American troops from Trinidad at the end of World War II had on the locals. Women used to… more »