Ras Shorty – Garfield Blackman

Ras Shorty – Garfield Blackman – Soca Creator: Had he lived, soca creator Ras Shorty I would have turned 79 years old today.

Born Garfield Blackman on 6 October 1941 in Lengua Village near Princes Town, he started singing calypso as Lord Shorty in 1963 with “Cloak and Dagger”.

He won his first title, King of San Fernando, in 1970. He, however, was unable to beat Calypso Monarch The Mighty Duke at the National finals that year.

1973, however, was the year he dropped the bombshell that would revolutionise T&T’s music.

It was at the finals of the National Calypso Monarch competition where, after stoking fire with the sexually provocative calypso – The Art of Making Love – Shorty unleashed his sokah beat before the Dimanche Gras audience.

Instead of his usual tight-fitting bell-bottom trousers and leisure suit, he appeared on stage wearing an ohdani (an East Indian shawl), and had backing musicians playing the dholak (a double-sided hand drum) and dhantal (a metal rod played with a beater).

His song Indrani changed T&T’s rhythm forever.

Shorty transformed, too, from the self-described “world’s sexiest calypsonian” to a born-again Christian who gave up the bright lights of showbiz to live in a family commune in the Piparo forest.

A prolific musician, composer and innovator, Shorty had experimented with the calypso beat for nearly a decade before unleashing sokah music, subsequently identified as soca, a mixture of African and Indian rhythms.

Shorty, who had become known as “the Love Man” in the 1970s, changed his name to Ras Shorty I after some spiritual growth and disenchantment with the image of music he created, saying that soca was being used for the wrong reasons.

Ras Shorty I passed away on July 12, 2000, at the age of 58
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In this video clip – an excerpt from an interview with Harold Pysadee – Ras Shorty I explained the origin, intention, and meaning of his music creation.

See Full Video Here:

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Had he lived, soca creator Ras Shorty I would have turned 79 years old today. Born Garfield Blackman on 6 October 1941 in Lengua Village near Princes Town, he started singing calypso as Lord Shorty in 1963 with "Cloak and Dagger". He won his first title, King of San Fernando, in 1970. He, however, was unable to beat Calypso Monarch The Mighty Duke at the National finals that year. 1973, however, was the year he dropped the bombshell that would revolutionise T&T’s music. It was at the finals of the National Calypso Monarch competition where, after stoking fire with the sexually provocative calypso – The Art of Making Love – Shorty unleashed his sokah beat before the Dimanche Gras audience. Instead of his usual tight-fitting bell-bottom trousers and leisure suit, he appeared on stage wearing an ohdani (an East Indian shawl), and had backing musicians playing the dholak (a double-sided hand drum) and dhantal (a metal rod played with a beater). His song Indrani changed T&T’s rhythm forever. Shorty transformed, too, from the self-described “world’s sexiest calypsonian” to a born-again Christian who gave up the bright lights of showbiz to live in a family commune in the Piparo forest. A prolific musician, composer and innovator, Shorty had experimented with the calypso beat for nearly a decade before unleashing sokah music, subsequently identified as soca, a mixture of African and Indian rhythms. Shorty, who had become known as "the Love Man" in the 1970s, changed his name to Ras Shorty I after some spiritual growth and disenchantment with the image of music he created, saying that soca was being used for the wrong reasons. Ras Shorty I passed away on July 12, 2000, at the age of 58 . . In this video clip – an excerpt from an interview with Harold Pysadee – Ras Shorty I explained the origin, intention, and meaning of his music creation. See Full Video Here: https://youtu.be/xoYM97IqrNk #rasshortyi #lordshorty #garfieldblackman #calypso #soca #jamop #ttmusic #tttalent #tthistory #vintagetrinidad .

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