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OF SAMO AND THE BRIDGE

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or almost a decade they locked horns in fierce rivalry on Mardi Gras Parade of the Bands. The general public at large particularly carnival lovers looked forward to their excellent presentations. At the end of both presentations before the Judges at Victoria Park one or the other would emerge victorious. There was never a question of a tie. COMPELLING PRODUCTIONS According to John Horne the presentations of legendary masquerade bands Winston ‘Samo’ Samuel and the Bridge Boys of which he was one of the leaders were all “compelling productions”. This was especially so in the years 1963, 1964 and 1965. Bridge Boys ran away with the 1963 Band of the Year title apparently swamping ‘Samo’ (whom his rivals said “play old mas” and a Portrait of Ancient Egypt triumphed. The Egyptians with the pharaohs at the helm ruled. There was virtually no dispute about who won. There was almost universal agreement that Bridge Boys, led that year by Roy Austin had scored a most convincing victory. Alas! 1964 and 1965 were different in outcome to 1963 with “disputed” results. The Judges decisions were final it is true but for years afterwards there were those convinced that not Samo’ but the Bridge who should have walked away with both Band of the Year titles. In 1964 perhaps it was the depictions of Samo and Bridge Boys which caused the entire furor. Indeed, so strong was the divide between the bands and their respective followers and supporters that a rumour soon made the rounds that both had agreed to a “rematch” at Victoria Park on Easter Monday!

GREAT AMERINDIAN CIVILISATIONS VS FROM THE STORY OF WESTERN COLONISATION Samo’s 1964 presentation was entitled Great Amerindian Civilisations highlighting the Aztecs, Incas, Maya, Caribs, Arawaks and other tribal nations. Naturally the Spanish conquistadors were a part of this epic production. Conquistadors constituted also a notable section in Bridge Boys offering From the Story of Western Colonisation with the French and English also in the thick of things. Featured in the presentation too were such historical figures as King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain , Queen Elizabeth I of England and King Louis IV and Queen Marie Antoinette of France. England’s Sir Walter Raliegh was there along with Sir Francis Drake. From Haiti came Toussaint L’Overture. Somehow, the main disputed areas centred around whose account was the more accurate and in form and fashion followed history and tradition. This could never be resolved and the rest as they say is “history”. MIGHTY RIVER STATES OF ANCIENT TIMES VS INVADERS OF BRITIAN 55BC- 1066AD For most carnival observers, Samo’s Mighty River States was his best ever presentation. No Hollywood historical epic could have been better than this production which hit the streets of Kingstown that bright sunny carnival Tuesday morning just before 8 am with the masqueraders chipping along to a 1965 popular calypso done by Lord Blakie of Trinidad. To Blakie’s lyrics “This is Carnival”, the masqueraders sang “this is Samo’ mas” as they paraded along to the sound of the accompanying steel orchestra. One remembers hearing

Band of the year magazine2  

This ia a historical document of St.Vincent and the Grenadnes biggest Cultural Festival called Carnival,which is held annually in June/July,...

Band of the year magazine2  

This ia a historical document of St.Vincent and the Grenadnes biggest Cultural Festival called Carnival,which is held annually in June/July,...

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