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
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
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
- 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
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
(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)