Greetings. In this first of two installments, I wish to highlight a fantastic musician (and in particular, one of his songs). His name is Lord Laro, and he is a Trinidad-born Calypso singer and composer.
Born Kenneth Lara in 1940, he served in his country’s army for 8 years (1960-1968), all the while producing his own record and earning the moniker the “Singing Soldier”.
Though he was already well-liked and popular in the calypso scene, Lord Laro felt that he was unable to properly assemble the ideas, lyrics, and music that were in his head, so in 1969, he attended Federal City College, which we now know as the University of Washington, DC, to take classes in composition and arrangement.
This fantastic artist still performs today, and in fact, the newspaper article I found about this gentleman, said that he would be appearing at a show in Queen’s Park Savannah today. The following video is a fan-made creation showing images of the costumes and dancers that typically appear at calypso events set to his song “Irie Tempo”. (Fun fact: “Lord Laro’s signature hit ‘Irie Tempo’ was mislabeled as ‘Ire Tempo’ on its initial 12-inch discomix release, as well as his name (‘Lord Lard’). The uncredited toaster vocals at the second half is said to be ’70s deejay pioneer Trinity.” (Discogs))