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

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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.

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

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3 Comments

  • “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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shame_&_Scandal

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