Author: Newsday
Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Page#:8 Section B
News Reporter:

Heritage Award for Sparrow Sparrow's Heritage Award

The Calypso King of the World, the Mighty Sparrow, is set to be honoured at this year’s 18th Annual Sunshine Awards ceremony in New York.

Sparrow will receive the Heritage Award for his 51-year-old calypso, “Jean and Dinah,” the song which propelled him to stardom back in 1956, when he won the Calypso Monarch competition at Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival that year.

“Jean and Dinah” quickly became a household favourite and is still a popularly requested song wherever Sparrow performs.

He will also autograph the original album with “Jean and Dinah,” for anyone who has copies.

The show, to be held at the Sheraton Hotel on October 29, is also dedicated to the 50th anniversary of “Day-O.”

“Day-O,” performed and made popular by Harry Belafonte, was first recorded in 1956 and released on the album titled Calypso.

The Sunshine organisation has also announced plans to further commemorate the significance and historic value of Calypso, provisions are being made to accommodate all those attending the awards with a copy of the original album to have Irving Burgie autograph it for them.

Burgie, who wrote eight of the 11 songs on that album, will be attending this very special event to accept the Song of the Century award.

According to Sunshine, “Calypso was the number one album on the Billboard charts for 32 consecutive weeks and remained on the charts for 99 consecutive weeks.

“Day-O” has also been recorded by many world-renowned performing artistes, including Miriam Makeba, Caterina Valente, Patti Page and Julio Iglesias.”

By 1983, over one hundred million recor-dings of the song had been sold.

In 1985, “Day-O” was featured on the We Are The World telecast and in 1989, in the hit movie, BeetleJuice.

In 1977, NASA used “Day-O” as the wake-up call for the astronauts aboard the space shuttle, Atlantis.

At the awards ceremony, a number of renowned artistes, including the Signal Hill Alumni Choir of Trinidad and Tobago, the Jamaica National Dance Theatre Company and the Barbados Dance Theatre, will be performing.