AUGUST 5th, 2006
A Tribute to Black Wizard
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By Brian Lindsay Campbell

From the Black Baron to The Black Wizard, Elwin Mc Quilkin can be considered as the People¹s Spokesman and to me one of the most accomplished writers of our times.

Very few in my opinion has more hits under their belt than this artist from La Digue, St. Andrew¹s. Let me try to take you through the years of this prolific and philosophic Grenadian artist. He started off in 1976 with his big hit, Mr. West Indian, and before we even got accustom to him he migrated to Trinidad.

He had to change his name from The Black Baron to The Black Wizard because there was a Trinidadian artist by the name of Baron, but that did not change the style and content of his presentations. While in Trinidad, Wizard sang in the Calypso Tents with some of that country¹s top artistes. He returned to Grenada in the early 80s with a major hit call ³Oh Grenada²

- a song that will be around forever because it is a fitting tribute to the October 19th 1983 victims.

During the 1980s, Wizard kept knocking at the national calypso monarch title and came close several times with songs such as ³Uncle Sam², ³When The Carnival Over².

To close the decade of the 80s, he produced of his masterpieces, an international hit call ³THE IMF² and also ³Tell Stone² which still did not bring him the national title.

Wizard soon developed a nickname, ³Mr. Second² along with Commancheros steel orchaestra from St. Paul¹s - they never seemed to able to win the national title in their respective fields but they remain true to form.

In 1994 the ice was broken by both Wizard and Commancheros. The St. Paul¹s band captured their first and only panorama title and I had no doubt thatThe Black Wizard would reign supreme with the hit song² The Masa Return².He later went to win two more titles in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

Wizard¹s lyrics always seem to represent some of the burning issues in our society. His strong content seems to be in harmony with the working class struggles for social justice. I am sure that he will be regarded as the Field Marshal of our artform here in Grenada.

Finally, let try to mention some of his greatest - Mr. West Indian, Oh Grenada, Woman Hold Your Head High, Mr. Pan man, Ah Doh Know, Walls, We ŒEnt Going Home (his road march title song), Uncle Sam, When The Carnival Over, The IMF, and Tell Stone. And this year is no different with his selection - Take Out Your Mouth.

I will like to take this opportunity to say thank you, Black Wizard for the last thirty years and I am looking forward to the next thirty - starting this year./ I honestly believe that you can join the ranks of King Ajamu and Cecil Belfon ( Flyin¹ Turkey) as the third person to win the national calypso competition on four times.


(The above article is a tribute to Black Wizard who in 2006 reached the milestone of 30 years in the artform. The others are Flyin¹ Turkey and African Teller)


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