Carmona calls for Shadow to be given ORTT

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 07:00

“I wish he was here to see how much peo­ple loved him,” said Shar­lan Bai­ley, as he de­liv­ered the eu­lo­gy for his fa­ther Dr Win­ston “Mighty Shad­ow” Bai­ley, in front of a mass of white-clad well-wish­ers at the Queen’s Park Sa­van­nah, Port-of-Spain, yes­ter­day.

“I don’t think he ever un­der­stand how much peo­ple loved him,” he added.

But while the love for the Bass­man was ev­i­dent fol­low­ing his death last week, for­mer Pres­i­dent An­tho­ny Car­mona be­moaned the lack of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Shad­ow’s mu­sic in his own coun­try.

“Why can­not we be hon­est about our­selves, why can’t we say Shad­ow you were wronged by the judges, wronged by those who nev­er ap­pre­ci­at­ed the artiste in you or the in­spi­ra­tional con­tent in your mu­sic? Wronged by those who gave you a Hum­ming­bird Sil­ver when you are wor­thy of an ORTT,” said Car­mona, who called for the two-time Road March win­ner to be giv­en the coun­try’s high­est ho­n­our.

He added, “The Na­tion­al Awards Com­mit­tee and the Ho­n­ourable Prime Min­is­ter (should) cor­rect this anom­aly, re­mem­ber­ing that with re­gards to na­tion­al awards the pres­i­dent here, once Pres­i­dent, was at the end of the food chain.”

Bai­ley was award­ed the Hum­ming­bird Medal Sil­ver in 2003. De­spite break­ing Ald­wyn “Lord Kitch­en­er” Roberts and Slinger “Mighty Spar­row” Fran­cis­co’s stran­gle­hold on the Road March in 1974 with Bass­man, Bai­ley would wait 26 more years be­fore win­ning a sig­nif­i­cant Car­ni­val ti­tle, the Ca­lyp­so Monarch in 2000 singing the apt­ly named ‘What’s Wrong With Me?’ and ‘Scratch Meh Back.’ He would then be­come the old­est Road March and So­ca Monarch win­ner a year lat­er with ‘Stranger’.

Last Sat­ur­day, just days af­ter his fa­ther’s pass­ing, Shar­lan re­ceived an ho­n­ourary doc­tor­ate from the Uni­ver­si­ty of the West In­dies for his fa­ther’s con­tri­bu­tion to cul­ture and the arts—an ho­n­our many said was too long in com­ing.

Yes­ter­day, Car­mona said Bai­ley’s aim was al­ways to trans­form the coun­try.

“He nev­er short­changed the na­tion with half-baked mes­sages. He spoke his mind with songs of lyri­cal con­tent and sub­stance. The ul­ti­mate aim of Shad­ow was to make each of us a coun­try of trans­for­ma­tive change and be­come pan­els of peace and love that have no bound­aries,” Car­mona said.

Ear­li­er, Shad­ow’s long­time friend Opoku Ware al­so made a re­quest of the To­ba­go House of As­sem­bly that it re­name the Shaw Park Re­gion­al Com­plex in his ho­n­our.

“Do not name a room in it af­ter Win­ston Bai­ley. The whole com­plex must be named af­ter him be­cause no­body in artistry has pro­ject­ed To­ba­go on the in­ter­na­tion­al scene as him,” said Ware, who said Shad­ow’s basslines in­di­rect­ly in­flu­enced the rise of so­ca mu­sic.

His son, how­ev­er, re­mind­ed the crowd that de­spite his pass­ing, his fa­ther’s fo­cus through­out much of his life lived on.

“That man can’t dead. That man im­mor­talised in alyuh minds dred. Up to to­day, any­thing dif­fer­ent is a Shad­ow vibes. Any bassline that bumps a dif­fer­ent way is a Shad­ow vibes,” said Bai­ley, who de­scribed his fa­ther as an agent of change.

“If you change the man ca­reer, this man would have ex­ist­ed for change. He nev­er fight the work be­cause he was nev­er about the work be­cause I say to­day he was about the mu­sic,” said Bai­ley.

TU­CO pres­i­dent Broth­er Re­sis­tance al­so heaped praise on the Shad­ow, stat­ing he nev­er made re­quests of the or­gan­i­sa­tion but was al­ways will­ing to give for Ca­lyp­so’s cause. Bai­ley was cre­mat­ed in a pri­vate cer­e­mo­ny in­volv­ing fam­i­ly and close friends hours af­ter yes­ter­day’s ser­vice.

- by Perter Christopher. Photo by Abraham Diaz.