Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music - SHADOW, Mighty

(b Winston Bailey, 4 Oct., late '30s, Les Coteaux, Tobago) Unique calypsonian and soca artist, usually referred to as Shadow. Grew up on grandfather's farm, began composing at age nine; joined group Fire Sticks that provided backing vocals at Mighty Sparrow's tent, appeared solo there '70 but forgot his lines. Joined Victory tent '71 led by Lord Blakie (Carlton Joseph), recorded 'The Threat' that year (directed at Sparrow and Lord Kitchener); moved '73 to Kitchener's tent for three seasons. Infl. by style of Mighty Spoiler (Theophilus Phillip: 1926--60), the great exponent of humorous and imaginative calypso. He has a propensity for the eccentric with a touch of eeriness; often wears dark clothing with broad-brimmed hat and regal cape; some of his calypsos tell of bizarre, sometimes violent events in an unmistakable raspy voice, interspersed with tremulous humming; from early on his work also had a strand of insightfulness and sensitivity, qualities which have become more developed and prominent in his later output. Two of his calypsos, 'Obeah Ma Man' and 'Run Du- Du', were incl. in album Calypso In Rage '73 on Straker's. He won first and second places in the Road March contest '74 (see Calypso) with 'Bass Man' and 'Ah Come Out To Play', breaking the stranglehold on the title held for eleven years by Kitchener and Sparrow (both incl. in LP Bass Man '74 on Straker's, as well as autobiographical 'Winston'). He reached Calypso Monarch final '74, but despite having the crowd eating out of his hand with 'Bass Man', was pipped by Sparrow. 'King From Hell' and 'Rap To Me' from King From Hell '75 got him into Calypso Monarch final; moved to Sparrow's tent '76 and released Constant Jammin': title track and 'Shift Yuh Carcass' got him into Monarch final again; LP also incl. 'Pressure'. During the off-season (i.e., after Carnival) he released The Flipside Of Shadow; in '77 Dreadness, incl. 'Jump, Judges, Jump' an attack on the judges of the Calypso Monarch contest, concluding that they had 'degrees in stupidity'. In '77 off-season came 12]im[ single 'Shadow Thing' on Charlie's. He moved to the Kingdom of the Wizards calypso tent '78; De Zessman incl. Road March contender 'Sugar Plum'.

If you always wanted to read about Winston Bailey aka the Mighty Shadow but could not find the link to the relevant information you wanted then take a look at this biography as presented in Donald's Music Box.

In this article you will read this clip about Soca that was quoted from the TNT Mirror on February 10,1989 (we can discuss this in future installments):

Shadow said that soca: ' just a new name for modern calypso', and that his claim to fame is for 'moving the bottom of the music, and introducing the changes in the bass lines ... My music is characterized by a lot of energy, because of my emphasis on the foot drums and bass ... What everybody's doing now is considered to be soca. But that is because the word spread so big after Shorty did his mixture. But I have never copied from them. If what they're doing is soca, and what I have done is soca, the truth lies within there, because I have always remained original.'

The truth is that no one has imitated or has come close to imitating Shadow's infectious musical style. Maybe there is some truth to his statements because today everything is being labeled "Soca" and if you listen to the music it is not the music that we grew up knowing as soca.  My friend Kenny Phillips (one of the best record producers in TNT) of KMP music studios (and owner of WACK Radio901fm/TNT Pan Radio) has given me his opinion about Shadows statement - very interesting indeed...
Calypso Music History: One Hand Don't Clap

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