Rating Calypso Singers with Full-fledged Calypsonians
I read with some level of disagreement and amusement over sections of the context of Ian Jackson's article entitled "Dominica's Best Calypso and Calypsonians Ever" published in The Sun of March 11, 2013.
What struck me most about the article was the writer's failure to understand that there is a major difference between a true or full-fledged calypsonian and a Calypso singer. A true calypsonian writes his/her materials and sings musical numbers that reflect the reality of a community, an example being Attila the Hun, whereas a Calypso singer will sing what is composed for him/her and in line with traditional standards, an example being Ritchie Delamore.
Norman 'De Ency' Cyrille ought not to be rated on the same scale and class as calypso singers. Rating full-fledged calypsonians like Ency and Karessah on the same scale as calypso singers like Dennison 'Dice' Joseph is like mixing grapes and apples. Ideally, the category under which 'Ency' is rated should not include Dice; Ency should be rated only with calypsonians like The Saint, the Spark and Karessah who composed most if not all of their songs. Another full-fledged calypsonian who comes to mind is Ashton James who sang all Calypsos composed by him before Saint and Spark were in their prime.
Logically speaking, Dice should be described as Dominica's Best Ever Calypso singer, and Ency Dominica's Best Ever Calypsonian.
In my estimation, De Hurricane and Karessah should be rated above Spider on Jackson's list of 12 best calypsonians. Also in my assessment, the list of 12 best Calypsos should include 'Praises' by De Hunter and 'Ian Dog Lass' by Karessah.
Finally, in deciding on his ratings, Mr. Jackson should have been guided by judgment based upon the time/period during which the various listed calypsonians reigned and sang.