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BLACK STALIN - THE CARIBBEAN MAN

BLACK STALIN - THE CARIBBEAN MAN

Photo courtesy: Abraham Diaz 

Leroy Calliste was born on Coffee Street, San Fernando on September 24, 1941. He attended the San Fernando Boys’ R.C. School as a child but left in Standard 4. As a young man he had a brief foray as a limbo dancer before taking up Calypso in 1959. In preparation for his career in Calypso he bought a dictionary and taught himself how to spell words from it. He was given the nickname Black Stalin by fellow calypsonian Blakie. At the start of his career he performed with the Southern Brigade from 1962 and eventually with Kitchener’s Calypso Revue tent from 1967. 

 

Black Stalin won his first Calypso Monarch title in 1979 with the songs Caribbean Man and Play One. After that he was a repeated winner, taking home the trophy in 1985, 1987, 1991, and 1995. In 1987 he was awarded the Hummingbird Medal (Silver) for his contribution to the culture of Trinidad & Tobago. On October 31, 2008 he became Dr. Leroy Calliste when he was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. In 2021 Lord Street in San Fernando was renamed Dr. Leroy Calliste Street in his honour.  

 

Black Stalin identified with the downtrodden. His songs conveyed a message aimed to boost self-esteem and economic power, especially for the Afro-Trinbago community.  He addressed international and regional issues such as the Grenada Revolution in ‘Ism-schism’ and the failed attempt at a West Indian Federation in ‘Caribbean Unity’. He tackled apartheid in South Africa in ‘More Come’.   

 

His social consciousness led him to write songs with an uplifting message, however, with ‘Come With It’ he finally found his foothold with party hits. ‘Ah Feel To Party’ will forever be a popular song and party anthem, which leads us to the timeless aspect of Black Stalin’s music. The versatility of his music transcends epochs. His songs about social consciousness and oppression of the vulnerable could still be applied to today’s world and his longevity in the business gives us a historical record of this country over decades.  

 

Leroy Calliste, Black Stalin passed away on 28 December, 2022.  

 

Black Stalin Discography 

 

1967 

  • Beat My Tune 

  • Culture First 

 

1968 

  • Beat My Tune 

 

1969 

  • The Immortal Message of Martin Luther King 

  • Miss Tourist Replies 

 

1971 

  • What Consciousness 

  • Freedom Day 

 

1972 

  • New Portrait of Trinidad 

  • Congratulations Tobago 

 

1976 

  • Run Something 

  • Disco Music 

 

1977 

  • Man is Man 

  • Love Your Own 

 

1979 – To The Caribbean Man (Album) 

  • Play One 

  • Caribbean Unity 

  • De All Season Man 

  • Kaiso Gone Dread 

  • More Times 

  • Black Man Music 

  • Jah Law 

  • De Same Ole Ting 

  • Time 

 

1980 

  • Money 

  • Break Down Party 

  • De Jam 

 

1981 

  • In Ah Earlier Time 

  • Vampire Year 

  • Wey I Band? 

  • Run de Head 

  • Not That Man 

  • Stay Giving Praises 

 

1982 – ’82 (Album) 

  • Nothing Come Easy 

  • Man is Boo 

 

1984 – You Ask For It (Album), This Is Soca! 84 (Album) 

  • Make Them Alright (part 1) 

  • Better Days 

  • Show Your Works 

  • You Ask For It 

  • Youth Man Gone 

  • Make Them Alright (part 2) 

  • You ask for it 

 

1985 

  • Ism Schism 

  • Wait Dorothy Wait 

  • Martin Luther King 

  • Sing For The Land 

 

1986 – Sing For The Land (Album) 

  • Sing For The Land 

  • No Part Time Lover 

  • Hard Hard Hard 

  • More Come 

  • No Pan 

  • No Woman No 

 

1987 – I-Time (Album) 

  • Burn dem 

  • Mister Pan Maker 

  • Peace In de World 

  • Staying Alive 

  • Caribbean Unity 

 

1988 – Moving Up (Album) 

  • We Can Make It 

  • No Way 

  • We Ready 

  • Think Well 

 

1989 – To De Master (Album) 

  • Turn Back 

  • Supu-Supu 

  • We Go Jam 

  • Free Him Up 

  • More Pan In The Party 

  • Party Mix 

 

1990 – Nah Ease Up 

  • Nah Ease Up 

  • Pan In Mas 

  • Culture Vultures 

  • Leave I Music 

 

1991 – The Bright Side 

  • Move 

  • Revolution Time 

  • Ah Feel To Party 

  • Look On The Bright Side 

  • Party Jam 

 

1991 – Roots, Rock, Soca (Album) 

  • Caribbean Unity 

  • Black Man Music 

  • Wait Dorothy Wait 

  • Burn Dem 

  • Play One 

  • De All Season Man 

  • More Come 

  • We Can Make It 

  • Jah Law 

  • More Times 

  • Kaiso Gone Dread 

 

1992 – Cry of the Caribbean (Album) 

  • Come With It 

  • Cry of the Caribbean 

  • Monday Night Mass 

  • Wey Dem 

  • Monday Night 

 

1993 – Help (Album) 

  • Help 

  • Black Man Killing Black Man 

  • Kaiso Music 

  • Wey De Wock 

  • Black Man Jam 

 

1994 – Rebellion (Album) 

  • One Tune Pan Man 

  • Let De Soca Play 

  • Black Woman Lament 

  • All Night Long 

  • I Shall Be Released 

  • Tell De Truth 

  • More Come 

  • All Saints Road 

  • Nation of Importers 

  • Santi Manitay 

  • Black Woman Ring Bang 

 

1995 

  • Black Man Music 

  • Sundar Popo 

 

1995 – Message To Sundar (Album) 

  • Where De Man 

  • Iron Band Jam 

  • Better Days 

  • Sundar 

  • In Times 

  • Ringbang Time 

  • Nothing Easy 

  • Loose De Juice 

  • Give Thanks 

  • Man Out For Change 

 

1996 – Ringbang Carnival Special ’96 (Album) 

  • Where Limbo Gone 

  • Ah Fit 

 

1996 – The Best of Black Stalin Vol. 1 (Album) 

 

1997 – TNT Showboat 

  • Promising 

  • People Of The Earth 

  • Ah Come Back Again 

  • Praises 

 

1998 

  • Together Forever 

 

1998 – Roots/Crossroutes (Album) 

  • Ode to St. Thomas 

  • Immigration Run 

  • Santo Domingo My Land 

  • Super Jamo 

  • Puerto Rico My Home 

  • How To Make It 

  • I Cry 

  • Together As One 

 

2000 – 2000 New Times (Album) 

  • Wine Boy Wine 

  • Sufferers 

  • Courtney 

  • Trinbago My Love 

  • Smelling It 

  • Save Him 

  • Fly Down 

  • Recognition 

 

2001  

  • Nobody Cares 

 

2002 – Hard Wuk (Album) 

  • Hard Wuk 

  • Leroy Roy 

  • Stand Up 

  • Do Something 

  • Ode to Skiffle Bunch 

  • Who Will 

 

2002 – Soca Switch 8 (Album)  

  • Vampire 

 

2002 – Calypso Heroes 

  • More Come 

  • Mr. Panmaker 

 

2003 – Calypso Music Vol. 3 

  • My Brother, My Friend 

 

2004 – Live at Naparima Bowl (Album) 

 

2004 – The Xtatic Parade 

  • Love Fire 

2004 – Just For You (Album) 

  • Dr. Jit 

  • Doh Do It 

  • Push It 

  • Homey 

  • Just The Way You Are 

  • One Slave 

  • Andre The Lion 

 

2005 – Carnival Collaborations Calypso Music Vol. 5 

  • My Brother My Friend 

 

2005 – Essential Caribbean (Album) 

  • More Come 

 

2005 – The Xtatic Experience (Album) 

  • Love Fire (Remix) 

 

2006 – Live! Collector’s Edition (Album) 

  • Page Break 

 

Sources 

Dupre Marie Diane. The Man ... the Music : A Pictorial Journey. Marie Diane Dupre 2008. 

 

Ottley Rudolph. Calypsonians from Then to Now. R. Ottley 1995. 

 

“Stalin Marks 71 With Concert.” Trinidad Guardian, 23 September 2012, p. A14.  

 

“The Black Stalin Has Died.” Daily Express. 28 December 2022, https://trinidadexpress.com/newsextra/the-black-stalin-has-died/article_9862748a-86c2-11ed-918f-5fe28f0a1b11.html  

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