The calypso fraternity has been plunged into mourning for the fourth time in recent weeks with the death of the Mighty Composer (Fred Mitchell).
Composer passed away on Wednesday morning at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex where he had been hospitalised for the past two weeks with a heart condition and other health issues. He was 83.
Born in Icacos on June 8, 1935, Composer’s first stint in entertainment was as a member of the Singing Mitchells family group that sang chorus lines for Sparrow’s National Recording Company productions.
In 1964, he launched his calypso career at Sparrow’s Original Young Brigade.
His greatest successes were in the 1960s and ‘70s with hits including Workers’ Lament, Supposing, True or Lie, Black Fallacy and Child Training.
He was a foundation member of the first Calypsonian’s Association in T&T as well the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) where he served as an executive member for many years.
Apart from being an accomplished calypsonian, Composer was known for portraying the Red Indian character, parading in the traditional mas on Carnival Monday and Tuesday in San Fernando.
In his later years, Composer, a member of the Orisha faith, also became known as Agba Olu Sino Amono.
In July he was honoured by the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) with a concert, Shikamoo—Ancestral Rhythm, for his contribution to the art form.
This was followed on Republic Day with the Hummingbird Medal (Silver) for his loyal and devoted service to T&T in the sphere of culture.
Composer’s death comes just weeks after the passing of fellow calypsonians Shadow, DeFosto and Lord Superior.
The funeral of Lord Superior, who died in the United States last week, takes place tomorrow at 10 am at NAPA in Port-of-Spain, with burial at 4 pm in his hometown, Rio Claro. Public viewing will be from 6 pm to 9 pm on Thursday at the Skiffle panyard in San Fernando. (See Page A26)