Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Maya Angelou, “Miss Calypso”


Right, the first thing that hits your lips when you think of Maya Angelou is that she’s “Miss Calypso”. But in her early days the prophet poetess was a chanteuse in a slinky red dress back-bending under the limbo bar. This Liberty LP was recorded at The Keyboard club in Hollywood in 1956. Angelou’s Afro-Cuban-with-a-pinch- of -Blues-and-Jazz standards include “Scandal In the Family”, “Mambo In Africa”, “Donkey City” and “Stone Cold Dead In The Market”, the first two of which she wrote.





Categories: Afro, Celebrity, Dance, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, LPs, Music, People, Self expression, Songwriting

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  • “Scandal In The Family” is an old calypso standard, so crediting Ms. Angelou with a writer’s credit rather than an arrangement is perhaps overreaching… or did she add verses to it? Me, I like Sir Lancelot’s version as heard in I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE.

  • Allee says:

    On the back of this LP Maya Angelou is credited with writing “Scandal In The Family”. See the credits in the photo above. Maybe there are two Scandals In The Family?

  • I believe the situation was probably just “well, if nobody else can claim a songwriter’s royalty on this, I might as well.” Plus, she probably did throw in a verse or two of her own. Wikipedia claims that Sir Lancelot’s version is the original, and I suppose that’s possible, but I suspect it might go further back.

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