Note: Notes from Rounder Records release "Calypso After Midnight" read: "Lord Invader incorporated a number of stick-fighting songs in his repertoire including this piece, which he first cut in 1941 (Decca 17472). Representing a tradition that was finally established by the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the call-and-response nature of the music and use of Creole is readily apparent. Bands of men battled each other with sticks in the streets during Carnival and, when these encounters were banned, at more formal contests. Their fighting moves were reflected in the rhythm of the drums. Songs were pugilistic or self-reflective and sometimes mixed both sentiments. We hear the sticks in the background as DeLeon and Simeon demonstrate a one-on-one stick fight. Also heard is someone moving the microphone stand out of the way."
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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