By Peter Ray Blood
(Trinidad Guardian) The calypso fraternity was in mourning yesterday as news spread of the death of one of the last surviving legends, Lord Superior (Andrew Marcano).
Kenny Phillips, owner of San Fernando’s Wack 90.1FM, a radio station committed to playing only local music, said: “On an interview on Wack 90.1FM, he said to me that I am living his dream and, if a movie was being made about his life I would have to portray him. After Superior fought all the battles to get a radio licence for local programming, and several court battles to get one, his money became depleted, so much so he ran out of money. Because of this his station could not last.
“I was also told that my station would not last one year. Last October, we celebrated our 14th anniversary.
“Superior was a gentleman and a scholar; very, very talented and likeable.
“I am saddened because our icons are passing and so far I have seen nothing being put in place by anybody to honour them for the works they have done, especially in enriching the soul and spirit of T&T.“Giving a doctorate is nice, but what about sustainability? These people have done years of work in the trenches and some of them are dying in abject poverty. This is an indictment on all of us as a people.”
Speaking from his New York apartment yesterday, Calypso King of the World Mighty Sparrow (Slinger Francisco) said: “Supie and I go back donkey years. This one has really hit me hard.
“We struggled through everything in calypso, from the very beginning, since 1955, and we have been good friends since then. He was a wonderful guy.
“I remember in 1974 when he decided to stop singing calypso, when I won the crown with We Pass That Stage and Miss Mary. Supie placed fourth and never sang in the competition again.
“I found out about his passing on Saturday when his brother, who lives in New York, called me with the sad news. Since then I have been too shaken up to speak about Supie. Ah cyar even think about the many funny times we shared as I am not in a mood to make jokes right now. We have lost another good one. May he rest in peace.”
Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco) public relations officer and Tuco South Central Region chairman Ras Kommanda (Steve Pascall) said: “On behalf of Tuco, the president Brother Resistance (Lutalo Masimba), we want to offer our sincere condolences to his wife and the rest of his family, and to all the people, local and international, who knew the brother.
“Superior was very special to the calypso fraternity for the role he played in advocating that calypso music should be played on all radio stations. He laboured for 20 years in this quest to ensure that calypso had its own radio station in which he received a licence and called the station Superior Radio.
“He also had a few firsts, including being one of the first calypsonians to perform in New York’s Madison Square Garden. At the age of 16, he was the youngest calypsonian to be performing professionally locally.
“We talk about the Mighty Duke a lot about his sartorial elegance, but Superior too was always dapper and was an example to many calypsonians. He was a mentor in that he represented 150 per cent unadulterated, authentic calypsonian, in that he always accompanied himself on guitar on every performance.
“This brother was so valuable to us that words can’t express the void which he has now left in the annals of calypso history. May he rest in peace.”