Tag Archives: Oscar Mason

What did you love? (Top Wadadli Pen Blog Posts of 2021)

Top here is defined as most individual views. This year, four lists – one for pages on the blog (not including the home page), one for posts on the blog, one for new posts on the blog, and one for posts to the YouTube channel. The time period is the year to this point. The deep dive re engagement (likes, shares, comments etc.) that I typically do when preparing the Best of posts won’t be as meticulousness because I don’t have the time. I don’t want to make this too long, so rather than individual top 10s, I’m doing a top 20 overall which roughly breaks down to five per list. But! as taking the homepage away leaves only four pages, I’m going to round off with a new blog or vlog post that I think deserves more views. No, this isn’t the last post for the year…probably. But I guess I had time today.Here we go.

My Boost

Carib Lit Plus Mid to Late December 2021

I’m going with the latest from the Wadadli Pen art and culture bulletin as a way to remind you that I post two of these a month -on the front end and the back end, trying to round up as much arts news as I have time to research and write about. It is a service to the Caribbean arts community by keeping us aware of and connected to what’s going on with each other. I’m not the only one doing this, obviously, but it’s still amazing how much we don’t know. So, as much as we can, now you know. Use the search feature to find former editions of Carib Lit Plus.

Top New Posts

Revisiting Rupert ‘Littleman’ Pelle’s Contribution to Calypso in Antigua and Barbuda, and the Need for Recordkeeping

The award winning calypso songwriter gave an interview to Culture a week before his death in December 2020. I was glad I found this and had to share it. The title is commentary on the need for more cultural documentation more consistently.

Sub-theme ‘2020’ – Winner, and Main Prize – Honourable Mention (Wadadli Pen 2021) – Jason Gilead

It would appear that this honourable mention, ‘The Great Old Woodslave’, is the popularity winner of the 2021 season of the Wadadli Pen Challenge. Ironically, it’s written by someone who declares themselves not a writer and entered on a fluke with no intention or expectation of being picked.

Wadadli Pen 2021 – The Short List

The last preview to the Wadadli Pen challenge prize giving; it makes sense that people were checking in to see if they were still in the running.

Wadadli Pen Challenge – Who Won What in 2021?

And naturally on the heels of the short list, the winners.

Wadadli Pen 2021 Challenge – The Long List

Self-explanatory.

Takeaway: It’s good to see the interest in the Challenge, and it makes sense; but be sure to check out other content.

Top Posts

Revisiting Rupert ‘Littleman’ Pelle’s Contribution to Calypso in Antigua and Barbuda, and the Need for Recordkeeping

The award winning calypso songwriter gave an interview to Culture a week before his death in December 2020. I was glad I found this and had to share it. The title is commentary on the need for more cultural documentation more consistently.

Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Paul King Obstinate Richards

Speaking of record keeping, I’ve tried to do some of that here on the blog and this tribute to one of the Big Three of Antiguan Calypso (The Undefeated) is an example of it. This actually is not a new one; this is almost 10 years old (and I’m going to have to resist the urge to fix the links to videos that have since been removed because I simply don’t have the time).

Nobody go run Me (Lyrics)

This is a classic by the Monarch King Short Shirt one-third of the Big Three and an entry from a few years ago into the site’s lyrics project. I remain committed to this project but transcribing these songs is time consuming. If you think you’re intern material and this is the kind of project you might be into, email wadadlipen@gmail.com

Antiguan and Barbudan Writings

This is perhaps the most important project, second only to our efforts to nurture new writers via the Challenge and related workshop activities, keeping this data base of writings from and by Antiguans and Barbudans. We have a canon; it is much more substantial than I realized when I started keeping this record and it continues to grow. Any blog intern will probably have to assist with maintaining this as well; if that’s you, email wadadlipen@wadadlipen

Antiguan and Barbudan Cultural Icon – Oscar Mason Remembered

I like that I was right place right time to take this picture (and gain an appreciation for the musicianship of the whole Mason clan and the pioneering legacy of Oscar Mason). Shout out to Auntie Esther Henry who back in the 90s and early aughts organized concerts and other activities to celebrate our culture such as this Oscar Mason tribute concert, and then ‘harrassed’ the media to show up. I was the media. I showed up. And I don’t regret it.

Takeaway: The oldies are still the goodies. Check out some of our newer posts from time to time though, too, okay?

Top Pages

Wadadli Pen 2021

This is the how to submit page which includes the guidelines etc. for challenge submissions; so that makes sense. Also, good that people are checking it and trying to get their submissions right. Makes it easier for processing.

About Wadadli Pen

This is perhaps the most important page on the site; it’s the project history, present, and future. It’s a record of what we’ve done and are doing, and what some of our past finalists have gone on to do.

R & D

This is a new page which gathers the various site resources and data bases in to one place.

Team Wadadli Pen

This is one of the newer pages – set up around when we got our legal non-profit status. They’ve been mentioned before in posts but I decided to set up a page as a way of introducing everyone to the team in a more permanent way.

Tops from the Wadadli Pen YouTube page

GMAB June 2nd 2021

Interview with the winning author on ABS TV’s Good Morning Antigua Barbuda. Kevin Liddie explains, he was also reluctant to enter, as he was going through a difficult patch, but he did have a pre-exising interest in writing that has been re-ignited.

Father and Daughter win with Wadadli Pen

We did the Challenge awards announcement by zoom (far from perfect but much improved from 2020 which was also a virtual year and a simple announcement but badly produced). We were fortunate to have the winners on the zoom and to hear from them during the ceremony.

Wadadli Pen Awards – The First Winner of the Zuri Holder Achievement Award Announced

Zuri Holder was one of my children, not biologically but in that I’ve been knowing him since he was a wee one through my years volunteering with the Cushion Club, I remember his graduation from secondary school when his father invited me to say some words just a few years ago, and, of course, his times as a Wadadli Pen finalist just a few years before that. I never imagined having to be at his funeral but that’s how 2021 started. Right around my birth date, as it happened. His father set up this award in his memory, though, of course, we would rather have him here with us. He lives on in our hearts, in our memories, and in this prize. This is the announcement of the first person whose name was etched unto the plaque.

Judge explains Why We chose It

Because I perceive Wadadli Pen as an arts development project, I love when we take the opportunity to give feedback on the winning submissions. If only we could do it for all. This year the logistics of doing it even for the winning pieces was too much for me, so I asked one of our judges to explain why we chose the winning piece as an example of what works and why.

World Book and Copyright Day Chat with Barbadian Author Cherie Jones

The Barbados Embassy sent me this one and I was happy to share it. I haven’t read her book, How the One-Armed Sister sweeps Her House, yet, but she is having a year. The kind of year writers like me dream of – go forth and conquer, sis.

Takeaway: the Wadadli Pen YouTube channel could be more dynamic but I would need more time. If this is an area you would be interested in volunteering with – i.e. creating Wadadli Pen YouTube content and boosting the channel and all of Wadadli Pen across social media – email wadadlipen@gmail.com In fact, volunteering generally whereever help is needed.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure, The Jungle Outside, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Antiguan and Barbudan cultural icon – Oscar Mason remembered

Oscar Mason is one of Antigua and Barbuda’s musical legends. I came across a picture I took back in the 1990s during my time at the Antigua Sun newspaper, covering a Mason family concert which I think may have been organized as a tribute by one of the hardest working women in Culture at the time, Auntie Esther Henry. Oscar Mason’s band at its height was way before my time, but when they got on stage en masse and jammed that night, it was electric. Finding this picture took me back and given that this site promotes Antiguan and Barbudan cultural arts (albeit with an emphasis on the literary arts and on Wadadli Pen in particular), I decided to share it. But I wanted to pull up some information on Mason to support it. My computer wasn’t an option thanks to the big computer crash of ’05 (or ’06, or maybe ’07, one of the 00s anyway). And searching online turned up woefully little. Which, coming on the heels of my online dig for the official citations on our national heroes, puts me back on my soap box about our need to create online content about us, by us. It is one of the challenges which this site though undermanned (or should that be underwomanned?) continues to embrace with our literary bibliographies and such. We really need to do better in this area; I mean, we’re giving out laptops and ipads to students here in Antigua and Barbuda and while the desire to bridge the digital divide is well intended, content creation seems like a natural intersection to me. *stepping off soap box* Anyway, I eventually found a google cache of the Carnival 50th anniversary magazine.

For copyright reasons I won’t produce the article here in its entirety but I will pull ten points of trivia:

  1. Oscar Mason was born on November 10th 1916 in the Point area.
  2. As a youth, he was captivated by the performances of the big musical bands from America – Glen Miller, Duke Ellington and the great Louie (Satchmo) Armstrong – and decided he wanted to play the trumpet.
  3. Hubert Edwards taught him to play the trumpet.
  4. Governor Fiennes, who was stationed in Antigua, bought him his first trumpet.
  5. In 1940, he formed his own band and called it the Antigua Glen Miller Band.
  6. He was jack of all trades, hence his nickname, ‘Jacks.’
  7. At Christmastime, Oscar would exhibit his skills as a stiltwalker (moco jumbie).
  8. Because of his musical and creative abilities, he made himself a stringbass, the first of its kind ever to be made in Antigua and Barbuda.
  9. He taught his children to play; his family band was called Sons of the Vibratones and one of his eldest sons, Tyrone Mason, is celebrated as one of the best tenor saxophone players in Antigua and Barbuda today.
  10. During the Carnival season for many years, his band would back-up all the calypsonians.

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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