Tributes flood in for ‘Calypso Joe’

Joseph Hunte is the third calypsonian lost to the nation this year.
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Tributes have been pouring in from the music world in memory of iconic singer ‘Calypso Joe’. Joseph Hunte – behind the 1970 Road March anthem ‘Boom Boom’ – died on Saturday, at the age of 72. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed by the family.

Dion Simmons, chairman of the calypso subcommittee, spoke to Observer about the former Calypso Monarch’s illustrious life and legacy.

He said Hunte had been a familiar face on the music scene for as long as he could remember. He was known for a number of patriotic songs, particularly in the run-up to Independence four decades ago, including ‘A Nation to Build, A Country to Mould’, Simmons said.

“I was sad to hear of his passing. On behalf of the calypso fraternity, I just want to offer our condolences to the family; it’s really sad and we just hope they find comfort in the significant work he has done over the years,” he added.

Sir MacLean Emanuel – better known as King Short Shirt – also paid tribute to his long-time friend and musical associate.

“I knew Calypso Joe very well; we shared the same stage from time to time,” he said. “I would like to send my condolences to his fans, his family and friends.

“One day, every one of us has got to go. But he was a good calypsonian, a Road March winner, a Calypso King. He made some great songs. We are going to miss him; I pray he is in the hands of the Almighty God, until we meet again,” Sir MacLean added.

Hunte’s songs were renowned for their literary quality. Other much-loved tunes include ‘Educate the Youths’, ‘Recorded in History’, ‘Tribute to VC’, and ‘Life of a Negro Boy’.

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