Walrond a winner!

Anthony Walrond (left) receives his award from Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley.
Anthony Walrond (left) receives his award from Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley.

For his contribution to the development of song-writing and the Pic-O-De-Crop Competition

Winning his first songwriting competition in 1964, Anthony Walrond, affectionately known as Wally is well known for contributing numerous winning pieces in the Pic-O-De-Crop competition.

One of his first winning pieces was Mr. Harding Can’t Burn, for the then newcomer Red Plastic Bag, who at the time went by the stage name Red Cock in the Conquerors Tent. At that time, RPB himself wrote Sugar Made Us Free, and won the competition in 1982.

Walrond then charted a new course for calypso through technique, presentation, crowd appeal and response. RPB then moved to Untouchables Calypso Tent with A Bag of Riddles, which Walrond also wrote.

Walrond later took a young Johnny Ma Boy by which now veteran calypsonian John King was known at the time, as the standard bearer for the Conquerors Tent by giving him Abortion Bill (1982) and again with The Black Box in 1983, when the competition was rained out. Walrond continued almost to be the resident writer for that tent concentrating on John King with such songs as I Want a Plantation, Tribute to the Skipper which took victory in 1986, I Am a Calypso, and Our Motto. He also penned I’m Back which contributed to the second crown for John King in 1994.

Over the years, John King continued to have the first choice of Walrond’s calypsos with If Money Could Talk, Body Talk, Singing Fuh Kree, Call, These Fields and Hills, as well as Heroes. Walrond also found a second-time winner in the All Stars Calypso Tent with Adrian Clarke with Put That in Yuh Song in 2008.

Walrond has also worked with the Junior Calypso Monarch by penning Khiomal’s winning song, The Game of Life. He has also written for Bumba, Black Pawn, Poonka, Sir Ruel, Ian Webster, Lil’ Man, Classic, Sammy Jane, Lady Do So, Lady Ann who was the first female in the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals and the late Tassa with Letter to Daddy. He also co-wrote the late Informer’s What You Have to Declare? He was also responsible for Nikki V’s The Wall Still Standing, which made it to Pic-O-De-Crop Finals in 1991.

Writing prolifically for the Pic-O-De-Crop Competition since 1982, Walrond never missed a year. He also sang as Cheerman in the All Stars Calypso Tent with Amen Alley. Last year in 2012, he wrote for the Straycats and this year is writing and singing for that same tent as the Cheerman.

Walrond has served as the Chairman of the Board of Management of the National Cultural Foundation from 1986 to 1994, where he instituted tent recordings and tent assistance which empowered tents during their struggling stages.

Walrond, who holds a Cambridge Certificate in Music Theory has been inspired to contribute to calypso through the efforts of pioneers like the Mighty Pointer, the Mighty Jerry and Charmer. He was definitely impressed and influenced by the Mighty Sparrow whom he considers to be the master of suggestiveness and the high priest that marries lyrics and melody. In addition, he cites the high standards established by Gabby, RPB, Black Pawn and Poonka as par excellence in calypso.

The National Cultural Foundation wishes to congratulate Anthony Walrond on his contribution to the development of Songwriting and the Pic-O-De-Crop Competition in Barbados.

We salute you!

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