Stalin celebrates his pal’s 77th birthday

Veteran musician Roy Cape and his close friend, Black Stalin (Leroy Calliste), commanded the attention of all their guests at Cape’s residence in Oropune, Piarco, on Saturday.

Stalin had journeyed from his San Fernando home for his buddy’s 77th birthday celebration.

At the event, MC and Stalin’s wife, Patsy Calliste, invited the birthday boy to share stories of their long-standing friendship.

Knowing it was going to be a long story, their guests chose to take a seat.

Cape recalled that a year after returning from New York in 1977 to live in TT, he met Stalin, when he (Cape) was hired to play music for the Kingdom of the Wizards tent which was located at the Port of Spain port where the Hyatt Regency is currently located.

Stalin sang in the tent.

“I’d never met Leroy in my youthful days when I was playing with Clarence Curvan, Ron Berridge or Sparrow Troubadours, but I had known a little about him. While working in the Wizards’ tent, I was in one corner while Leroy was in another corner with Valentino (Emrold Phillip). Before the season ended we were all hanging out together. That was 1978.”

Cape recalled 1979, which he described as a fantastic year for Stalin, when the latter captured the calypso crown with his Caribbean Man, and subsequent years of success, including those when Stalin again won national calypso titles in 1985, 1987, 1991 and 1995.

Cape said, “From that time, in 1978, to today it has been a long journey. In ‘79 we went to Carifesta in Cuba. We, along with David Rudder, did the New Orleans Jazz Festival, we had worked in numerous gigs in Brooklyn, we went to many places in Europe including England, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Sweden and we have been to almost the whole Caribbean.”

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