Every year hundreds of Calypso and Soca songs/music tracks are released for sale to the general public. Some of these songs are instant hits while others, for some reason have such an impact on us that we find ourselves singing the lyrics long after the season is gone.
The songs that remain with us are the ones that would last a lifetime. However have you ever given thought to the songs, singers and music released yearly to the extent that if you wanted to know the songs released for a certain period that it could be easily sourced and documented regarding the singer, composer, musicians and even where it was recorded? I have and came up dry and disappointed in my online search for such a database.
Recently, I noticed the following on the Wack radio (www.wackradio901fm.com)website: "The National Action Cultural Committee is pleased to announce the calypsos which were selected to be among the Top 20 Calypsos for 2010. These calypsos will be awarded at a gala ceremony which will be held on Saturday 8th January, 2011, at the Cascadia Hotel, St. Ann’s." This was followed by a listing of the songs and the singers. I thought to myself well if they listed 20 songs then form what database did they prune this list?
I went to the TUCO website (www.tucott.com) to see if they had a list of songs released for 2010 and as a matter of fact since this is the World governing body for calypso take a look at a listing of calypso releases as a historical guide to the art form. Nothing...just songs for sale! On the same web page there is an article entitle, "Our Calypso jewels not treasured"... oh yeah? Talk about promoting the craft and there is no listing of the songs sang by Lord Kitchener, or the Mighty Sparrow or Lord Shorty, or the Roaring Lion etc etc.
We really need a National archive for the art form and it is a shame that millions of dollars are spent yearly by TUCO (government funded) and to this date we don't have an archive of the singers, songwriters, musicians, recording studios and the works done for and by each category. This is a shame and a National embarrassment... Something needs to be done, this wrong needs to be corrected for the sake of the art form and the people who help create it year after year. It is bad enough that we fail to honour those who created the music, even after they die. At least we should chronologically record the historical data as a courtesy to their genius and for the future generations to come.