Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music


TERROR, Mighty

(b Fitzgerald Cornelius Henry, 13 Jan. '20, Anguilla Village, Arouca, Trinidad) Calypsonian, drummer, bassist; dubbed Golden Voiced Terror because of his rich baritone. Father was a policeman, mother a teacher and chorister; attended Arouca Government School and Piccadilly Street EC School in Port of Spain; sang in church and school choirs, trumpeter in school bands; bus/taxi driver '35--47. Turned calypsonian '47 singing 'Negroes Know Thyself'; made calypso tent debut at Calypso Palace '48; joined Young Brigade tent '49. Won one of Calypso King titles '50 with classic 'Chinese Children'; won unofficial Road March '51 with 'Tiny, Tiny Blow The Trumpet For Me'; remained at Young Brigade until '53; recorded for local Sa Gomes and Dial labels early '50s. While working as a ship's fireman he travelled to Brazil, then UK, where he relocated '53--65; when Terror reached London's St Pancras railway station, he jumped into a taxi and asked the driver to take him to calypsonian Lord Kitchener (who'd gone to UK '48 and who Terror na‹vely assumed was widely known); the taxi driver retorted: 'What's wrong with you, Lord Kitchener died in the 19th century!' Worked in a London pottery; soon began gigging as a calypsonian, drummer and bassist; sang in London night clubs; won Calypso King of Great Britain '57 at Chelsea Town Hall with 'Life In London' and 'I'll Walk A Million Miles'; did three summer seasons on Isle of Wight with Bert McLean's Trio; played drums in jazz group incl. Kitchener on bass. Toured UK with Kitchener and resided with him in Manchester, where he also worked in an asbestos factory. Recorded in UK for Melodisc incl. 'Chinese Children' made with Rupert Nurse Calypso Band (track incl. in Melodisc EP Calypso Time) and Nixa (distributed by Pye) incl. EP Kings Of Calypso Vol. 1; Nixa recordings collected on CD Kings Of Calypso '92 on Castle Communications.

Returned to Trinidad '64; sang with Calypso Revue tent '65 (thereafter he continued to perform in tents most Carnival seasons into the '90s); tied with Mighty Bomber for second place in '65 National Calypso King contest (title renamed Calypso Monarch '78) with 'Pan Talent' and 'Keep Calypso Clean' (latter was substituted for 'Callaloo Tonic' in an attempt to counter a smut calypso by that year's hotly tipped winner Mighty Sniper). Went back to UK after '65 Carnival and worked on next year's selections; returned to Trinidad again '66 to perform in Sparrow's Original Young Brigade tent; unexpectedly won '66 Calypso King title with 'Steelband Jamboree' and 'Last Year's Happiness'; after returning to UK one more time to collect his possessions, he permanently resettled in Trinidad '66; as Calypso King represented Trinidad and Tobago at first World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal, April '66; dethroned '67 by Mighty Cypher. Sang notable 'Pan In Tune' for '72 season; two of his calypsos, 'Tribute To The Solo Harmonites' and 'That Woman Could Lie', were incl. in album Calypso In Rage '73 on Straker's; his '77 selections incl. 'Forgetful Panmen' and 'My Suggestion'; both sides of his '78 top ten hit single on Freedom Records, 'Gouti Dance' and 'Madness', took him to third place in that year's Calypso Monarch competition; also released single 'Give The Youths A Chance' '78; had runaway hit during '79 season with single 'Soca Special'/'Welcome Foreigners'; re-recorded hits June '79 for debut LP Best Of Golden Voiced Terror '79 on MNE Productions. Early '80s singles incl. 'Don't Change Calypso'/'Steelband Boycott' '80, 'What Is A Disco'/'Mostly Women Playing Mas' '82. Awarded national silver Humming Bird Medal for his cultural contribution '85; qualified for '86 Monarch contest with 'The Greatness In Mankind' and 'Sugar For Pan'; latter tune was interpreted by arranger Clive Bradley for Pandemonium steel orchestra in '86 National Panorama steel orch. contest, achieving fourth place in finals; this was a minor vindication for Terror because steel orchestras had neglected to perform his tunes in Panorama. Issued single 'Any Time Is Party Time In America' on KPP '88; also reached Monarch semi-finals that year. Competed in '91 Monarch semi-finals with 'Money Good, Money Bad' and 'Panmen Jamming Pan'; was profiled in the TTT (Trinidad and Tobago Television) series Calypso Showcase '91; Japanese company Blues Interactions released CD collection of Terror recordings Real Calypso '92; Terror issued his own cassette compilations Real Calypso '92 on Golden Voice Productions and Kaiso By The Genius '93 on Terror Music incl. four new tunes. Ninth annual Young Kings competition '93 was dedicated to Terror; that year he sang 'Calypso Teacher' in NCC's (National Carnival Commission) Kaiso House tent; performed 'No Bail For Criminals' in Kitchener's Calypso Revue tent '95; '95 recording 'Back With The Pan' compiled on Ringbang Carnival '95 Vol. 2 on Ice; '96 recordings 'Chinese Panorama' and 'Miss Colombia' incl. in compilation Ringbang -- Carnival Special '96 on Ice; performed 'Reply To Big Belly Man' at NCC's Kaiso House during '97 season. Has published and personally sold annual Calypso Callaloo lyrics booklet every Carnival season since '68, celebrating his 50th anniversary with a souvenir golden jubilee edition. Recommended collection: Pan Poetry '95 on Ice compiled and annotated by Ray Funk, assistant Attorney General of Alaska and calypso aficionado.