The sad tidings that reached our newsroom in the early hours of last evening were that Sir Rupert “King Swallow” Philo had gone home to his eternal reward. He had been ailing lately, and was visited, one evening this past July by Prime Minister the Honourable Gaston Browne, Sir King Short Shirt, Khan Cordice, Kenny Nibbs, and Luther Lee, among others. At that time, the visitors did a soulful rendition of one of his greatest hits, MAN TO MAN. Notwithstanding his frail health, Swallow happily joined in the singing. It was to be his last performance.
Born on February 14, 1942, King Swallow entertained and inspired us with his thoughtful lyrics and his syrupy, sweet, foot-stomping music. He was once known for his catchy New York Labour Day offerings such as SUBWAY JAM and FIRE IN DE BACKSEAT. He was indeed the maestro of the jumpy music genre with hits such as SOCA UP DE PARTY, DON’T STOP DIS PARTY, WEEKEND SPECIAL, RUDE BOY JAM, JAM IRON AND MISBEHAVE and DANCE ANY STYLE. He was a likeable and unassuming gentleman with an easy disposition and a winning way. To know him, was to love him.
He has gone home to join King Tyrone ‘Edimelo’ Thomas, his protégé of sorts, for a celestial rendering of one of their wildly popular collaborations – a remix of his DON’T STOP DIS PARTY. Angels will fold their wings.
Sir King Swallow, sleep in power and rise in glory for that big PARTY IN SPACE! Forever in our hearts, Sir. You will be sorely missed!