The incomparable, legendary Dr. Slinger “Mighty Sparrow” Francisco, who will be among the four to be honoured at the Calypso “Kaiso” Hall of Fame on Friday (January 29), said it feels good to be back in Dominica to receive such an honour.
The 80-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago arrived on island last evening and was welcomed as a VIP guest by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
‘Mighty Sparrow’ who spoke exclusively to Dominica News Online (DNO) on Thursday said Dominica is one of the countries he always had a special love for.
“Being honoured, I like that, especially in a place like here, this place reminds me of my dream castle,” he said. “Dominica is one of the countries I have always liked. I have had some very good friends over the years, even the years I have not been coming, these guys were my friends still.”
He mentioned former Calypso King Deryck “De Hunter” St Rose as one who continues giving him support along with other calypsonians on the island.
He has many fond memories of Dominica and has seen improvements on the island.
“The roads are much better than it was back then and all the buildings and so people are improving on the houses,” he stated.
His advice to the young calypsonians, “if in case you don’t succeed, try and try again, don’t give up, don’t cry.”
“Not everybody is going to succeed the first time, try to understand that,” he noted.
He also encouraged calypsonians to continue singing calypso throughout the year and not only during the Calypso season. “Because somebody will recognize your talent along the way and who knows when the next season come you will be coming in with the experience that perhaps you needed the first time.”
“Because somebody will recognize your talent along the way and who knows, when the next season come you will be coming in with the experience that perhaps you needed the first time,” he stated.
The Mighty Sparrow, also had some words for Carnival lovers saying they should enjoy themselves but not over do it while partying.
“Because you don’t the partying spirit to take over and you misbehave,” he added.
Mighty Sparrow sang his first big hit, “Jean and Dinah” in 1956, followed by “Carnival Boycott” in 1957.
He is an 11-time winner of the calypso monarch title in Trinidad and Tobago, adding to his Carnival Road March titles.
He is also a self-taught guitar player and began writing his own songs from the time he was able to speak, he said.
The other candidates for the Hall of Fame are Chief Judge, Patrick “Pembo” Pemberton, Treasurer of the Dominica Calypso Association (DCA), Kelly “Ras Kelly” William and Calypso Commentator, Osborne “Ossie” Lewis and Roosevelt “Mico” Williams holding the record for the highest number of calypso titles in the history of Dominica calypso.
The event will take place at the Fort Young Hotel from 6:00 pm.