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Alec Betsa - The Brute Force Steel Band

This is from The Brute Force Steel Bands of Antigua B.W.I. album.
Artist Brute Force (Musical group) ; Recorded by Emory Cook ; Produced by Emory Cook 1955

the setting
Here then, in the warm and pleasant tropical evening,
men of the Brute Force congregate !$ the house of Mr.
and Mrs. F. V. D. GriAth, near St. Johns. Griffith,
retired harbourmaster of Antigua is also bandmaster of
the police band, and for a lifetime has been a musical
force in the B. W. I. Udder the steps leading up to the
veranda a musically astute cricket keeps time with the
Brute Force as they play and sing, Mrs. Griffith entertains
graciously as the concert goes along; friends, tourists,
neighbors and strangers drop in, attracted by music in the
night. and all are welcome.
Farther down along the beach is a club where visitors
may enjoy a quiet evening swim and the excellent native
rum. Here in the shadow of the tropical palms, the Big
Shell Band plays, and in the interval following La Pdoma
a la bolero, the quick restless surf rhythms of Antigua's
northern coast are heard as the microphone volume is
increased.
So from Antigua, an obscure island in the British
West Indies, where we find one man who uses an 1837
gravestone for his coffee table, where the parakeets scream
in a French patois, comes - steel band.


click for liner notes http://media.smithsonianfolkways.org/liner_notes/cook/COOK01042.pdf

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Comment by Noel on June 7, 2014 at 11:31am

I remember the song, but all the words I remember is the coda "Alec Bedser, who teach you to bowl Australia". Nothing more stuck. 

Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on June 7, 2014 at 9:23am

And I believe this was before Christie sang about "Miss Sweden" in the mid fifties.

Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on June 7, 2014 at 9:19am

Yuh must be getting old Noah :) , what happen ,yuh forget this was a popular  Kitchener calypso ?

And Alec Bedser was a famous  English Cricketer (bowler) in the 1940's and 50's

Comment by Noel on June 7, 2014 at 2:48am

Bruteforce! remember them?

Nice memories. Thanks

However, on listening keenly I am forced to ask whether they was some 'tiefin' done. The first two lines of the melody are exactly the same, as far as I remember, as those of another calypso of the period. I think it was Christo who sang it. It celebrated the victory of Miss Sweden in the Miss Universe competition of that year.

I found myself singing along, but using the words "I was present this year, Long Beach California" and then again "I'm congratulating, Miss Hillevi Romkin, What a perfect figure, five foot 7 , tall like mi brudder."

I really liked this calypso (even more than the Kitch classic Bruteforce played here. So it stuck in my mind all these years.

Comment by david de castro on December 16, 2011 at 11:02pm

WHAT A LOVELY JOLT TO MY MEMORY.I STILL HAVE THIS RECORD.IT IS A PINK RECORD. AROUND 1955 THIS WAS THE MOST POPULAR STEELBAND RECORD.WE MARVELED HOW GOOD THE RECORDING WAS.THAT MY FRIENDS WAS A LONG TIME AGO.--NICE "BANDIT" 

Comment by Patrick Louison on August 24, 2011 at 8:46pm

In this episode, the West Indies triumvirate Steelband, Calypso & Cricket meet the English twins Alec & Eric Bedser.  What a lovely song.  Thanks for refreshing the memory with this classic.  More than ever though is the creativity in the liner notes.

Thank you, Sir.

Comment by Foy Barnes on July 12, 2011 at 12:50pm
Hi Glen, I respect your vast pan knowlegde, but the sailor story really does not hold up under scrutiny. I have heard that story of the sailor bringing pan to Antigua in 1945, and can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is pure garbage.  How can this be true when the first Panorama (old name: Steelband Competition) any place in the world, was held in St. Thomas in 1946 and won by HELLS GATE STEELBAND out of Antigua. The tune they played was "PEANUT VENDOR".  Really, could they have acomplished that in one year?
Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on July 11, 2011 at 8:07pm
The tune from back then is stuck somewhere in my memory, and when I hear it, I'll know it.

I have some music from Brute Force including this cut , but as far I know I haven't heard that first tune yet. It may have been "Doris -O is a Mama Paul", but I'm not sure.

And while on the subject of Antigua pan, i wish an Antiguan Pan historian would step forward and tell the story of how pan grew in Antigua.

The story goes that a sailor brought a pan to Antigua from Trinidad (in 1945, I believe).

What happened after that?
Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on July 11, 2011 at 7:50pm
Foy I have to agree with you.

I'm not 100 percent certain, but I believe, if my memory serves me right, that the first steelband I ever heard on Radio in Trinidad was Brute Force of Antigua.

This would have to been in the early 1950's, when we had that speaker box called Reddifusion mounted on the wall.
(The guy who mounted the Reddifusion box tried to convince me that there were people inside the box, but I digress)
Comment by Glenroy R Joseph on June 21, 2011 at 5:54pm

FYI, this calypso is about English cricket great Sir Alec Bedser.(4 July 1918–4 April 2010).

For cricket fans out there, he is considered to be one of England's best cricketers of the twentieth century, one of their best medium fast bowlers ever, and was a dominant bowler in the nineteen fifties.

He was knighted in 1996.

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