Mighty Grynner rules the highway


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Seven-time Road March winner Mighty Grynner (MacDonald Blenman) is to be given a memorable honour in Barbados when Spring Garden Highway becomes the Mighty Grynner Highway.

The name change takes place on Saturday 29 June at a special ceremony that will see three nameboards and a monument unveiled. The veteran calypsonian, known for tracks such as Crop Over Bacchanal and Ah Coming, will be joined at the celebrations by Red Boyz Band, the Police Force Band, Barbados Defence Force Band and a clutch of top Barbadian calypsonians.

Creative Economy and Culture Minister John King – himself a former calypsonian – said that the country should pay tribute to people while they are still alive rather than waiting until they have passed.

Grynner’s heyday was in the 1980s, although he staged something of a comeback with Turn On De Speaker in 2016 and, jointly with Ras Iley, with King Of De Road in 2017. Few calypsonians can have seen the title of one of their hits come to life so literally!

He is not the first musical celebrity to be acknowledged by a road. In December 2017 Westbury New Road in Bridgetown was renamed Rihanna Drive.

Musicians of any kind, let alone calypsonians, are largely missing from Britain’s road signs – with one remarkable exception. Near Finsbury Park in north London you can find Vivian Comma Close, named after the man better known to calypso fans as Golden Cockerel.

Let’s see more of our local soca and calypso stars commemorated in this way – which way to Lord Cloak Close, Brown Sugar Buildings and Mighty Tiger Park?