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WST Reboot -- Flamingoes Steel Orchestra - A look at the once-renowned orchestra - yesterday, today and tomorrow

Flamingoes Steel Orchestra
A look at the once-renowned orchestra - yesterday, today and tomorrow

by Salah Wilson


Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Flamingoes is a process in motion. It will take some time for the band to get back anywhere near to its former status in the ‘70’s. First of all it is not just ‘Bringing back the Band’; in reality, it is a community development project.

....Around 1980 the band was no longer able to continue with the same status quo. I was not involved in the eventual split-up of the band to form Exodus. But again my uncle Bob and Amin Mohammed (elder brother of Ainsworth Mohammed), were responsible for making the ‘Exodus’ from Flamingoes. The amazing thing is that the band was across the street from my late Grandmother’s (Ma Mena) property and with the exodus, they  moved back onto my grandmother’s property. So the now famous Exodus actually started right on my Grandmother’s (Ma Mena) property. How ironic could that be. Well, everyone knows about the continuing success of Exodus. However Flamingoes (the Gay being dropped for obvious reasons) remained in existence but a shell of its former self.
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Yeah Noah

Flamimgoes yard is exactly there,  next to the Elementary School (St. Benedict's RC)


Flamingoes - Black Man's Cry

Composer Fela Kuti

Party classic from the 1973 album "Secrets of the Pan"

2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominee Fela Kuti

Flamingoes Steel Orchestra - Caterpillar

Exodus - Poet and Peasants HD

Performance from Panorama Champions of the 20th Century 'A Tribute to Excellence'

Steve Khan
3 years ago (edited)
Fantastic performance. Back in the 70's when Gay Flamingoes hit the road with this Classic they completely transformed the streets to a Symphony Hall whereby the folks stood up and took note of the great strides the SteelBand had made in that a Classical piece of such a complicated nature could be played in Calypso tempo and in the road parade. This surely shows the strides that our Panmen/Panwomen have made musically. Superb indeed.

odw.. thanks for posting these memories Black Man's Cry & Caterpillar were arranged by Kenrick Headley. Pan tuner  Wallace Austin was the player on the timbales for the "Black Man's Cry - Carry Me I want to Die -Fela Kuti ". Poet & Peasants was originally arranged by Tyrone Noreiga

Brothers & Sisters of this Forum... this is 2021 a new decade ... How we grew up, how we spoke, how we did things was acceptable and that was the 'norm'. The word "Gay" back then, was used as a prefix to the name of some steelbands and the word and meaning was in reference to being happy and lively. 

However, in this article, my usage of this word as being "hijacked" by others was, and is a poor choice of words. It is regrettable, so I wish to make a public apology for that bad choice of words. At the same time, it is an opportunity to take responsibilities and bring awareness to everyone and the topic. We are in 2021 and we must be aware of all sensitivities in our speech and writings, even so we may still slip-up. This is the right thing to do when that happens. A brother pulled my coat on this and I thank him for that. Equality and respect for everyone for race, religion, gender, sexual orientation.

Salah Wilson

“Equality and respect for everyone for race, religion, gender, sexual orientation.”

My first introduction to American management/organizational culture was at a training seminar my company did in the 80s, it was called “Sensitivity Training” years later it was changed to “Diversity Training.”

Functioning in a leadership role one had to follow the laws that govern the rules of engagement and a personalized approach with the employees you supervise. The training now features how to monitor and control unconscious bias. I work in one of the last states to abolish slavery.

We also have a new approach to how we look at individuals with limited abilities. The disabled for example and Seniors. Quality of service is at the core of the delivery of service. A 24/7, 365 days a year operation.

Thanks odw,

Education and taking responsibilities is important in dealing with this topic of in-equalities, We all have to work to bring about fairness and understanding. I  want to thank George D. Goddard for "pulling my coat" on this topic. I also want to encourage everyone about their sensitivities in speaking and writing.

Thank you Salah for taking the time to write this very interesting article. Is Caribana on this year?  Hope to see you, maybe next year in Trinidad. Regards


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