One of Dominica’s top calypsonians of the 70’s, has died in New York at the age of 80.
Haydan “Lord Tokyo” died in hospital of a heart attack on the weekend, according to reports.
His hit, “Tennis Shoe Jam” in 1970 made him a household name in Dominica. That song also won him the Road March title.
He captured the Calypso Monarch crown in 1969.
According sensay.com, in December 1998, Lord Tokyo released his first album on Compact Disc entitled “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all”.
“This album featured some traditional Caribbean Christmas melodies in soca, bouyon, zouk and cadence along with some familiar Dominican Christmas songs like “Chantey Noel” among others. Under the skilled engineering and programming of the young “King” Arthur Valmond, the CD has been a collector’s item during the Christmas season,” according to the website.
Below is a tribute written to Lord Tokyo which appeared on sensay.com
The Mighty Sparrow, Calypso King of the World was so impressed with the Lord Tokyo’s rendition of Tokyo’s “De man dat doing de Pumping” at a Brooklyn club that he invited the former Calypso King of Dominica to do a recording of some his classics. “De Pumping” recorded in 1967 has the distinction of being the first recorded single by any individual artist in Dominica. (The Swingin Stars Orchestra did their recording of Sparrow’s “the Party” that same year).
With the backing of Sparrow’s orchestra, Sparrow’s Troubadours and some calypso vocalists, (30 years later) Tokyo was able to produce the song “Tennis Shoe Scandal” on tape with an extended dub version of real classy calypso on brass in 1997. Tokyo received a tremendous ovation at the World Creole Music Festival on October 31,1999 after a live performance which included his famous hits.
“Lord Tokyo” was born Hayden Desiree in Loubiere, Dominica. The calypso,” Tennis Shoe Sandal” had already made Tokyo a household name in Dominica since he won the Road March title during Carnival with that song in 1970. It was such a big hit that this calypso was repeated on the road at every Carnival afterwards for a long time. Tokyo’s success began when he was crowned the 1969 Calypso King of Dominica.
It wasn’t any surprise to anyone who knew “Tokes” in North America that the Lord Tokyo would continue his singing of calypso in the USA and Canada. His popularity increased among younger folks as he continued to make guest appearances in shows and perform at local clubs. In December1998, Tokyo released his first album on Compact Disc entitled “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all”. This album featured some traditional Caribbean Christmas melodies in soca, bouyon, zouk and cadence along with some familiar Dominican Christmas songs like “Chantey Noel” among others. Under the skilled engineering and programming of the young “King” Arthur Valmond, the CD has been a collector’s item during the Christmas season.
Tokyo’s new CD also engineered by Valmond promises to startle the ear and assault the eye and imagination of even the most critical observer. This album, which includes a remix of the songs “De Pumping” and “Doctor Tokes”, proves to be rich enough in content and should appeal to calypso lovers and persons who have a philosophical approval to life. Tokyo has come a long way as his legacy continues to create a greater awareness of his homeland with its rich cultural background. These new songs should make a good and lasting impression on all fans, calypso, bouyon, and soca enthusiasts alike.
Below is Lord Tokyo’s “Pumping Man”