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“There were lots of guys who went to Trinidad. Some remained in T&T. Among the ones who came back and were in the early steelband movement in Grenada was a fella named Willan Dewsbury. He was part of the Grenada steelband called Hell Cats (he’s the guy holding the flag in the photo - mid 1950s). He later became an MP and served as Minister of Culture. He passed away a couple years ago [May 7, 2016].”  -- Lincoln DePradine

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Out of curiosity: When was the FIRST STEELBAND formed in GRENADA?

Mike Mc Quilkin Before choosing the name change to Commancheros the band had other names going back with Mel Phillip. There were other bands in the St Paul's area like one that was lead by Soca Boca Grant, and James Mapp lead several too. He was one tuner that held himself back like many others that didn't take a trip down to Trinidad to be up and up with the latest. What had me puzzled, was his ability to tune and entire band and could not identify the notes period. He knew what the notes should sound like, but ask him if it was B or A he could not tell you. Both him and his brother Peter who had moved to Trinidad for many years and the last that I heard was back in St Paul's, had a passion for pan, but failed to move forward. Tan Worme and Sauce Lewis from opposite Bethel Church also lead a band and was smart enough to travel to Trinidad often to pick up on the latest according to the old folks with the history of bands in St Paul's. There was also one from the Bocas I can remember. There is a lot of history in Grenada with both steel and brass bands.
  • Lincoln DePradine
    Lincoln DePradine A comprehensive history of pan and steelpan in Grenada needs to be compiled. But, it would require time, dedication and resources. There are a few people around that still can speak firsthand about the history. We need to gather information from them. Evelyn Ross is one such person. There were players from Boca/Beaulieu, Morne Jaloux, St Andrew and other parts of Grenada. And the bands that existed prior to the 1960s had some really interesting names. Quite a few of our nationals from Carriacou also travelled to Trinidad and became top-notch panmen.
  • Mike Mc Quilkin
  • Mike Mc Quilkin
    Mike Mc Quilkin In January I sat quietly listening to two visiting seniors arguing about the best band that passed through, and oh yes it was laughter all the time. It went from Solid Senders to RMO to Paramount, to Maestros, to Mellow Tone, to John Boo Boo.
  • Lincoln DePradine
    Lincoln DePradine Yeah, man. You learn so much listening to these folks. Amazing memories, amazing stories. Nuff respects to our elders.
  • Clevoy Depradine
    Clevoy Depradine Lincoln: In the mid fifties a Steelband with the likes of Evelyn Ross and others won a local competition that took them to Barbados. After a successful performance with Lord Melody (T&T), he handed them an empty envelope and ran away with their earnings.
  • Lincoln DePradine
    Lincoln DePradine LOL! That’s for chapter 1 on the history of pan in Grenada. GASSPO got conned too. Harry Belafonte, when he visited for the filming of “Island in the Sun’’, took names and other pertinent information and promised to bring the band to the States. Cousin Reggie Mark and the other GASSPO members still waiting to hear from Belafonte.

Nice history for all to know,,,,Well done Sir.

From the movie Island in the Sun 1957, starring Harry Belafonte with Dorothy Dandridge


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