Lord Invader  

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"In 1945 The Andrews Sisters appropriated the song "Rum and Coca-Cola", which had originally been recorded by Jamaican musician Lord Invader. The Andrews Sisters' version sparked a new fad for this infectious new style, calypso. The craze reached its apex of popularity in the mid-1950s with the release of the hugely successful Harry Belafonte single "Banana Boat Song" and Belafonte's million-selling 1956 LP Calypso. Calypso also had a strong influence on the mainstream folk music boom of the late Fifties and early Sixties, which in turn became one of the major springboards for the development of world music as a genre."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Rupert Grant, more commonly known as Lord Invader, was a prominent calypsonian with a very distinctive, gravelly voice. He was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in 1915, and died in New York in 1962.

Invader became active in calypso in the mid-1930s. He wrote many calypsos; his most famous, Rum and Coca-Cola, was plagiarised by Morey Amsterdam and became a hit for the Andrews Sisters. Invader travelled to New York and sued, eventually winning compensation, although the final settlement allowed Amsterdam to retain his copyright.

He is often credited with writing Zombie Jamboree, although there is no evidence he actually wrote the song.

The following disks give a good idea of his work:

  • Calypso in New York (Smithsonian Folkways 40454) is a collection of Invader's recordings across his whole career.
  • Calypso at Midnight and Calypso After Midnight come from a live recording organized by Alan Lomax in New York in 1946.
  • Calypso War, Kings of Calypso, and Trojan Calypso boxed set all feature the same set of songs recorded in the United Kingdom in the 1950s.
  • Folkways recordings also have a number of CDs that Invader recorded in the late 1950s in New York.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Lord Invader" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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