Today we remember the late calypsonian and composer Dennis Williams Franklyn, The Merchant (May 19th 1943- may 1st 1999), who died of aids on this day in 1999.
A prolific and highly respected songwriter, he succumbed to the temptations of drug abuse, which was probably responsible for his contracting the HIV virus.
He finally made it to the Dimanche Gras finals in 1978 with his hit "Norman, is that you?", a story about a childhood friend who went away and returned home a different person.
According to his ex-wife, because of the homosexual theme of the calypso, some questioned Merchant's sexuality, and after the song was released he vowed never to perform it again.
Merchant is known to have written many songs for some of the top artists of the calypso genre, and it is said that under the influence of drugs he gave away many of his songs for practically nothing.
So, in memory of the late, great calypsonian, The Merchant, here is his hit, "Norman, Is that you" and "Come and Take it"
Arranged by Ed Watson,
R.I.P. Dennis, Williams Franklyn, The Merchant