Note: Notes from Rounder Records release "Calypso After Midnight" read: "Calypso dramas may have developed out of French Creole-language bawdy plays (for example, 'Dame Lorraine') that were common at the turn of the century. Staged before Carnival, they were enjoyed by men of all classes and by lower-class women (Errol Hill, The Trinidad Carnival: Mandate for a National Theatre, 2nd ed., London: New Beacon Books, 1997, pp. 40-41). Advertisements for calypso programs on cinema stages, with singers performing in vaudeville sketches, appear in Trinidad newspapers during the 1920s. The first presentation described in the press as a 'calypso drama' staged in a calypso tent is noted in 1933 ('First Calypso Drama: Decree Nisi in Song,' Trinidad Guardian, February 16, 1933, p. 2). 'The GI and the Lady" may be a shortened version of 'The Soldier and the Lady,' a drama staged by the Maginot Line calypso tent in 1940."
About the session: A live recording of "Calypso At Midnight," a concert held at Town Hall, New York City, on December 21, 1946. Learning that Town Hall could be rented cheaply after regular theater hours, Alan Lomax produced a late-night concert series called The Midnight Special, which was thematically organized as "Blues At Midnight," "Ballads At Midnight," etc., and sponsored by the People's Songs Collective. The calypso concert recordings, made at Lomax's request and later found by chance in a closet by Bess Lomax Hawes, may be the only extant documents of this series. "This concert is a fascinating document of an American presentation of Trinidadian calypso at a time when interest in the genre was spreading from New York City into the mainstream of popular music in the United States" (Donald R. Hill and John H. Cowley, Calypso At Midnight [Rounder CD 1860])
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