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Lord Invader

Rupert Grant, more commonly known as Lord Invader, was a prominent calypso musician with a very distinctive, gravelly voice. He was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in 1915, and died in New York in 1962.

Invader became active in calypso music in the mid-1930s. He wrote many calypsos; his most famous, Rum and Coca Cola, was plagiarized by Morey Amsterdam and became a hit for the Andrews Sisters. Invader travelled to New York and sued, eventually winning compensation, although the song is still credited to Amsterdam.

He is often credited with writing Zombie Jamboree, although there is no evidence he actually wrote the song.

The following disks give a good idea of his work:

  • Calypso in New York (Smithsonian Folkways 40454) is a collection of Invader's recordings across his whole career.
  • Calypso at Midnight and Calypso After Midnight come from a live recording organized by Alan Lomax in New York in 1946.
  • Calypso War, Kings of Calypso, and Trojan Calypso boxed set all feature the same set of songs recorded in the United Kingdom in the 1950s.
  • Folkways recordings also have a number of CDs that Invader recorded in the late 1950s in New York.

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