Tuesday, December 14, 2010
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Harry Belafonte
Song:The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)
Album:Very Best of Harry Belafonte
After topping the charts with The Banana Boat Song in 1956, Harry Belafonte was dubbed the King Of Calypso. He was uncomfortable with the label but he was a very important figure in popularizing Jamaican music. He was born Mar. 1, 1927 in New York City. His father was from Martinique and his mother was Jamaican and he spent part of his childhood with her in Jamaica. He went to high school in New York and served in the Navy during WWII. Then he took acting classes and became a stage actor appearing in several Broadway plays. He sang in clubs to pay for acting classes and even sang with Charlie Parker. He then became interested in folk music and started singing Jamaican songs in clubs. He signed with RCA in 1952 and his first single Matilda became a favourite on his live shows. His 1956 album Belafonte topped the charts and went Gold. Meanwhile he was appearing in the 1954 film Carmen Jones. Belafonte's third album Calypso was an even bigger hit and The Banana Boat Song was his only number one single. It was based on a Jamaican folk song and adapted by Lord Burgess. It was first recorded in 1952 by Trinidadian singer Edric Connor. Burgess and William Attaway revised the song so Belafonte could perform it on The Colgate Comedy Hour in 1955. The rest is history. As a recording artist, Belafonte continued to be very popular as an album artist and his live shows were very popular. This budget CD is a good intro to his music. His recording career faded in the mid-60s and he got more into acting. But he still recorded and performed in concert. And of course he is well known for his humanitarian and civil rights activities. He last recorded in 1988. But he's most memorable for his Calypso hits of the 50s. Here's Harry Belafonte and The Muppets performing The Banana Boat Song on The Muppet Show.