Don’t forget Singing Francine

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THE EDITOR: Many of our cultural heroes are in life’s departure lounge. Some have gone to graveyards unheralded. As a true blue “Culture Man” I have been shouting from the rooftop that there is need to honour them while they are alive.

I could list calypso veterans and other cultural heroes, worthy of honour, who have enriched our lives through their contributions in their various fields.

I am overjoyed with all the accolades the 77-year-old “young girl” Calypso Rose (Mc Arthur Sandy Lewis) is receiving, including the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT). Her six decades of contribution to calypso is a tribute to her longevity.

Rose and Francine (Francine Edwards) kicked down the doors of prejudice, spite, discrimination and labels, not worthy of mention, that blocked the path of women in calypso.

Calypso Rose is a well-loved artiste, who has done this country proudly, locally, regionally and internationally. As a young man, I had the honour of meeting Rose, and found her warm and friendly.

However, while we celebrate Calypso Rose, the Government, the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) and the National Carnival Commission (NCC) must focus on honouring calypso veteran Singing Francine (Francine Edwards) in a big way. Next year’s Dimanche Gras show is a wonderful way to start! “Mr Dollar Wine” Colin Lucas, are you listening?

Francine, like Rose, has contributed heavily to the development of calypso, and the liberation of women in calypso paving the way for Calypso Princess, Singing Dianne, Denyse Plummer. Singing Sandra, Drupatie Ramgoonai, Singing Sonia, Sanelle Dempster, the late Beulah Bobb, Marvellous Marva, Tigress and others.

I say give Singing Francine the recognition she deserves. Roll out the red carpet! I am sure calypso lovers will agree.

Keith Anderson via e-mail

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