“Lord Tokyo” passes on

Lord Tokyo was famous in the 1970's
Lord Tokyo was famous in the 1970’s

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”




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  1. DeePee
    April 25, 2015

    RIP King Tookes

  2. Peter Humphry
    April 25, 2015

    Saddened to hear that Tokyo has passed away. I remember him very well from the time in the early 70’s when I was living in Dominica. RIP

  3. Juanito
    April 15, 2015

    Tokyo needs to go down in our history books for his contributions to Dominica. The Calypso Association,musicians and artists, the Cultural Division and members of his family and all Dominicans should call for some kind of historical marker or monument preferably in Loubiere in memory of this great performer and true Dominican.Rest in Peace!! Toks

  4. musique678
    April 15, 2015

    I’m very saddened to hear the death of a very good friend and fellow musician tokeyo..I first met him at crystal sounds studio in bk ny and from then he fell in love with my brother and myself musical talent and was very supportive. He introduced us to so many people including the mighty Sparrow and we spent allot of time in and out of the studio. We performed all over and even went on to record an album of which he and Sparrow both sang on. .I will aways remember him cause he reminded me of my dad. .. may your soul rest in peace .. one love …GV

  5. Observer
    April 14, 2015

    Another Loubiere “light” as faded. May your extended family be contented in the knowledge that you served your country with the gifts and talents that the Lord gave you. May you find favour with the Lord. Rest in peace.

  6. Truth be Told
    April 14, 2015

    “De Prices too high, too high
    Can’t afford to buy, to buy
    No work for man in dis country
    Cost of living is rising
    Unemployment increasing
    Man if you see de state of de economy…”

    and what about Buy Local
    “Buy local, local everyday
    Mama stop sending your dollars away
    Buy local local everyday…”

    R.I.P. Lord Tokyo

  7. Mango Juice
    April 14, 2015

    RIP dear Tokyo.

  8. April 14, 2015

    I can still hear the chorus of that song of his which said:

    Woy, Woy, Woy! See what you do!
    It ‘s a brand new shoes.
    Mammie say it shouldn’t use
    You just comin; you putting your big foot
    And see how you burst out
    The lace of my brand new–“TENISHOE TONGUE”

    And that was the reason for the popularity of the song; it made the Title of the song–:not Scandals”, nor Jam–most definitely not!

    Meanwhile, at 80 years he has earned his days in this world, my hope is that he has gone to his grave with a soul that will rest in peace until Jesus calls him back to Life–which belong in the Spirit.

    • The Facts
      April 15, 2015

      Tennis Shoe Scandal. That song is funny. :lol: :lol: :lol:
      Whoever can make people laugh in this life, in a good way, has made a future spiritual life for himself.
      Three score and ten. Then the rest is on borrowed time. He lived some years older.
      I will remember that day, I had just left the post office when I saw him. This was the last time. May his soul rest in peace. Amen!

  9. The Facts
    April 13, 2015

    He had a nice name, “Hayden Desiree”.
    Last week someone mentioned his name, pertaining to an in-law who passed away.
    Today, after a funeral I attended mostly everyone I spoke to mentioned his death. I was also shocked.
    One year when I visited D/ca I saw him. We spoke for a while. He was selling the record, “Tennis Show Scandal.” I bought one from him.
    Yes! In my estimation he was a respectable man.
    Lord Tokyo, you have done well for yourself. You, no doubt were proud of your country, Dominica and advertised it to the fullest especially in your songs. You loved singing so you will be doing just that in eternity. Another faithful son of the soil and singer gone to his heavenly reward. God bless your soul.
    My condolence to all members of his family.
    Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul rest in peace. Amen!
    May his soul and all other souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen!

  10. Shameless
    April 13, 2015

    Alas Toks, RIP my dear friend. Dominica will always be grateful for the part you played in uplifting our spirits during your life. That Christmas CD will be part of me until I say goodbye to this world. Sincere condolences to family and friends.

    Assertive, NOT Aggressive! :cry:

  11. block 44
    April 13, 2015

    this was Tokyo lord the the little man that gave them the juk,juk.rest in peace my friend.

  12. Yawn
    April 13, 2015

    My deepest sympathies. He was a true entertainer.

  13. Langue kabwit
    April 13, 2015

    May his soul rest in peace and God gives his family the strength and courage to go through that difficult and sad time in their lives. Tokyo served his country well as a calypsonian and very reliable taxi driver.

  14. Patricia Inglis
    April 13, 2015

    An excellent human being who was extremely loyal and dependable. It is unfortunate that these days that individuals such as “Tokes” are very few even non-existent. My sympathies go to his entire family, especially his wife. May he rest in peace.
    Patricia Inglis & family

  15. stand for yourself
    April 13, 2015

    TOKYO May you RIP my CONDOLENCES to your FAMILY you were also a friend since I were 16 years young so long my friend. JAH Bless

  16. April 13, 2015

    My friend for half a century, you was always a humble man in a low voice you will be missed my friend.

  17. da people
    April 13, 2015


  18. believer
    April 13, 2015

    may he rest in peace… his famous Tennis shoe scandal was a classic double entendre ( double meaning)
    and as mentioned in the report above, was a popular road march.
    He was a man who never forgot his friends and would always ask about those he has not seen for years.
    Rest well Tokes.

  19. Somewhere in Da USA
    April 13, 2015

    RIP Tokyo, my condolences goes out to your fam and relatives

  20. NK
    April 13, 2015

    :( :( :( Rest in Peace King !! 8-O :-x :( :( :(

  21. cjb
    April 13, 2015

    R.I.P lard Tokyo

  22. JoJo
    April 13, 2015

    As we come, so we must depart. Thank you for enriching our culture my friend. Rest in peace.

  23. Cyrique
    April 13, 2015

    The devastating news of Lord Tokyo’s passing shocked and upset many many of us worldwide. I have such precious memories of his songs and entertainment. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. WE THANK God for the honour and privilege of knowing him. May he RIP

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