Frankie McIntosh receives 2020 UWI Honorary Doctorate

UWI Open Campus Graduation Ceremony 2020 Wednesday, January 13, 2021 5:00 pm (Eastern Caribbean/AST) | 4:00 pm (Jamaica/EST) | 3:00 pm (Belize)

Presided by: Her Excellency Dr. June Soomer, BA, PhD UWI Honorary Graduands: Mr. Franklyn McIntosh – Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

Born into a musical family, Franklyn ‘Frankie’ McIntosh was always surrounded by music. He trained in classical piano as a young boy, joined his father’s popular dance band, the Melotones at age 10 and formed his own band at the age of 14. 

In 1968 Mr. McIntosh moved to New York to attend Brooklyn College where he earned a Bachelor of Music and later a Master’s degree from the New York University. During his studies he played keyboard with several Caribbean R&B and Jazz groups. He went on to study with several musical icons including John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet, Zenon Fishbein and US composer, Robert Starer.

In 1976/77 Mr. McIntosh first forayed into the world of Calypso arranging for calypsonian Becket’s successful 1977 Disco Calypso album. In 1978 he connected with fellow Vincentian and Brooklyn’s premier record producer at the time, Granville Straker. The two went on to forge a musical alliance that would last decades.

Serving as musical director and technical producer, McIntosh arranged for dozens of Straker’s calypsonians including Chalkdust (Dr. Hollis Liverpool), Shadow, Calypso Rose, Winston Soso, Poser, Scorcher, Singing Francine, Duke, King Wellington, young Machel Montano, Lord Shorty and others. His classic arrangements won the Trinidad and Tobago Calypso Monarch for Chalkdust in 1981 ‘Things that Worry Me’ and 1989 ‘Chauffer Wanted’. His work also won the Road March for Sparrow in 1984 ‘Doh Back Back’ and Duke in 1987 ‘Thunder’.

From Calypso to gospel and reggae, Franklyn McIntosh has worked his magic on music from every English-speaking Caribbean island. His work has been honoured with an induction into the Sunshine Awards Hall of Fame in New York (2015) and recognition by the Borough of Brooklyn, the City of New York and the United States Congress – House of Representatives. He has appeared on a stamp in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and is recognised as a diplomat.

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