Shorty – The man who united a musical movement


In this bonus episode of Talk ‘Bout Us, Franka speaks to children of the late musical pioneer Garfield Blackman, the man who created two musical genres in his lifetime.

As Lord Shorty, the sexy, charismatic calypsonian, he is credited with inventing soca in the 1970s – which he originally called sokah. Soca music is now Trinidad and Tobago’s most popular national artform. And after devoting himself to God and moving his family to the forest to live off the land, he created Jamoo which is described as “the gospel of soca”.

Ras Shorty I’s musical legacy is back in the spotlight as a result of the success of his children, and most recently because of the meteoric success of his granddaughter Nailah. His body of work is being celebrated by the University of the West Indies, and the first part of this celebration was The Journey – From Lord Shorty to Ras Shorty I, a concert hosted by the Department of Creative and Festival Arts. You can read the Trini Good Media  review of the concert here.

Franka also spoke with Carl “Beaver” Henderson, who co-produced Shorty’s 1978 album Soca Explosion. He lauds Shorty’s musical genius and gives his view on the tag, “Creator of Soca” that has been given to Shorty.



Produced and presented by Franka Philip

Theme music by Lyndon Livingstone – Razorshop Productions

Music credits: Shorty Music (Shanti Om, Jamoo and Watch Out My Children),


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One comment on “Shorty – The man who united a musical movement

  1. Nicole Duke-Westfield Apr 18, 2018

    This is truly good and important work. The Blackman family led by their patriarch has brought grace and beauty to our country with their distinctive sound and warmth. Thanks for this work FP.