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Harry Belafonte is gone at 96. [March, 1927 - April 2023]
He popularised Calypso music with, 'Banana Boat Song' and 'Coconut Woman', bringing listeners into a world of sun, sand and sea amidst coconut trees, swaying palms and tarantula spiders... and sold a million copies with his first Long Play vinyl recorded in 1956. I was only 16 years old when I heard his lines:
"I see women on bended knees, Cutting cane for her family, I see men at the water side, casting nets at the surging tide..." and I was sold.
Still within the same theme came 'Jamaica Farewell'; then a quiet, sober, calm hymn: "Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the holy Bible says, Mary's boy child, Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas day..."
He was versatile indeed, singing and recording different genres of songs he could get his hands on. He became an actor too. With such a forceful career, Mr Belafonte became a recognisable and powerful civil rights activist! Beside Elvis, he was my other singing hero!
"Sad to say, I'm on my way, Won't be back for many a day, My heart is down, I won't be turning around..."
"Daylight come and we wanna go home..."
RIP Mr Harry Belafonte, one of the best singers there is, [yes, still is] in the world today. Condolences to his family and folks at home.
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