Pressure of news during Notting Hill Carnival prevented us from mentioning that the Association of Calypsonians UK (ACUK, formerly ABC) presented veteran calypsonian All Rounder with a Lifetime Achievement Award to mark his 50 years in the artform. The presentation took place at the Calypso Monarch Finals on Thursday 24 August.
All Rounder (Anthony Hendrickson) has become a regular fixture on the ACUK stage at the Tabernacle in west London, performing, with youthful energy, To be an Icon and his raunchier, humorous hits Body Wine and Garlic Sauce.
Born on 17 October 1939, All Rounder’s debut calypso of 1967 was My Little Brother Charlie, composed by his wife, who also gave him his soubriquet. In the same year, Lord Kitchener invited him to work at his calypso tent, and he has never looked back since then.
At the London Calypso Tent this year, All Rounder was once again accompanied by his daughters Dianne (Lady Wonder) and Shirlane, and it is obvious from the banter on stage that the three make a harmonious, but highly disciplined, team. In an interview with the Daily Express in Trinidad a couple of years ago, All Rounder expressed his pride in his daughter’s achievements. He noted then: “Shirlane works hard as my manager; we work hard together as a family to prepare for the season.”
All Rounder may have been in the spotlight this year, but watching from the wings was another distinguished calypso icon, King Socrates of St Kitts. A true gentleman of the artform, Socrates was also spotted at the Notting Hill Judging Point on Great Western Road on Carnival Monday.
A few years ago King Socrates also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from an overseas calypso association. In August 2014 the Wadadli Calypsonians Association Incorporated of Antigua & Barbuda presented the multiple Calypso Monarch of St Kitts & Nevis with the award in recognition of his contributions to the music for the past 40 years. In this, Socrates followed in the distinguished footprints of local heroes King Short Shirt (Sir McClean Emmanuel), King Obstinate (Sir Paul Richards) and King Swallow (Sir Rupert Philo).