Mar 05, 2013 News
….Professor’s winning tune under review
At what was termed a “closed meeting” at the National Communication Network (NCN) yesterday, calypsonians were told that their 2013 calypso tunes were not banned, but they were merely “prohibited”.
Officials told the artistes that it was Professor’s winning tune that caused the station to pay keen attention to the local Mash tunes as his song is currently under review by the station for its unfavourable lyrics.
NCN has however failed to declare who ordered the ban of the 2013 tunes, and when the music will be back on air.
Irate musicians however said that the meeting was a waste of time because nothing was said to satisfy their minds. The artistes charged that the four-member panel that consisted of key persons; NCN Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Gordon and Information and Press Liaison to the President, Kwame McCoy, related nothing that made sense.
“They couldn’t tell us who banned the songs or when the music will be back on air. All they keep saying is that the music was not banned, that it was prohibited, but what does prohibit mean? When we ask them when the music will be back on air, they said that the music is being played all the time, but is only Professor song that has to be reviewed.”
“It is nonsense utter nonsense. Imagine the CEO telling us that he didn’t know anything about what took place. He said that when he knew about the ban the notice was already up in the station and yet still he can’t tell us who put up the notice that none of the songs should be played.”
Kaieteur News was told that the exact reason for the ban was not given. It was indicated, the publication was told, that some lyrics in Professor’s song were “unfavourable” and that is why it needs to be reviewed.
Several tries to communicate with NCN proved fruitless. This publication on its first attempt was told that the CEO was out of office, on the second try, after speaking with the secretary who said to hold for the CEO, the phone was left to ring out. Several other attempts up to press time also went unanswered.
The Calypso Association has however decided to take earnest action to strengthen the organization. At an emergency meeting held Sunday last, calypsonians discussed several issues they said need to be urgently addressed.
The meeting which was chaired by veteran calypsonian and President of the Association, Geoffrey ‘the Mighty Rebel’ Phillips, was attended by several concerned artistes who were highly annoyed about the recent ban. They first rejected the manner in which the songs were banned, stating that the organization was never informed or approached about the “libelous, abusive and slanderous” nature of the tunes as Minister Robeson Benn so described it.
The calypsonians said that the association is first going to write the relevant authorities for an explanation into the ban and for the persons who authorized the ban to explain their reason. It would further be requested that the Mashramani Secretariat offer an explanation into the song criteria since all the calypsos would have gone through all the necessary procedures up to the finals which saw the crowning of a calypso king.
The organization further spoke about the Association’s ability to represent the artistes. According to them the Calypso Association needs to take a firmer grip in representing the art form, since calypso thrives on social commentary.
Some saw this as the main reason for the uproar. One artiste said the Secretariat should make it abundantly clear what can be described as “slanderous, libelous, vulgar, ethnically or culturally insensitive,” since the stated criteria is too vague.
The ban has also invoked talks about copyright laws, since the musicians spoke out about the songs being played while performers earn nothing. They charged that despite the artiste producing the music, they have to purchase the songs at $4,000 from NCN; one calypsonian said that was what she was charged when she asked for a copy of her song.
The calypsonians said that the art form is slowly dying and with the attitudes that are being displayed there may soon be no place for the music, especially where political influences play a part.
The whole banning saga however came when Minister of Works Robeson Benn walked into the radio station and according to him, proclaimed his dissatisfaction with Calypso monarch, Professor’s song, which he thought, was “libelous and slanderous.”
Benn claimed that as a citizen and a Minister, he felt that he had the right to express his dissatisfaction with the music, but he never ordered that the calypsos be banned. He also said that the decision was one made by NCN management, although Gordon insisted yesterday that he knew nothing about the ban.
Like NCN, the Minister said he does not know who banned the calypsos. He however said that the decision was not taken at an executive level of the government.
Was Jagdeo honest when he made those promises?
Sep 21, 2023– Warriors face Tallawahs Friday with last spot in finals up for grabs Kaieteur Sports – Man-of-the-match Chadwick Walton cracked an unbeaten 80 as Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR)...
By Sir Ronald Sanders (The writer is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the Organization of American... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.