Heroes of Pan

 

Sparrow

 

 

The Mighty Sparrow ( real name Slinger Francisco) was born in 1935 in Trinidad and has become widely regarded - sine the death of Kitch - as the greatest Calypsonian of his time. The winner of many competitions, although not a Pan player (but a composer, producer, singer and guitar player) many of his compositions have been arranged for Steel Bands very successfully. His nickname, he says came about when he performed dancing around on the stage influenced by James Brown. The Older generation of performers stood stock still to sing. One of the older singers said to him "Why don't you stand still instead of dancing around like a little sparrow?"

Many of his songs have been used by steelbands - Jean and Dinah, Soca Time, Both of Them, Dan is the Man in the Van, Pan Man, Drunk and Disorderly are just a few. Boogsie Sharpe recorded an album of his music called "A Tribute to The Mighty Sparrow". You can still download tracks from Amazon and iTunes.

 

A Tribute to the Mighty Sparrow (Len "Boogsie" Sharpe on the PHI)

In this video, Sparrow talks in an interview, then there is a version of "Jean & Dinah" one of his earliest songs. Notice how he struts and dances when he is singing

 

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