Calypso fraternity loses one of its own
March 16, 2012
Calypso fraternity loses one of its own

The sudden passing of Gerard ‘Rasum’ Shallow continues to evoke emotion from those who knew him best, particularly his peers in the Calypso arena.{{more}}

Many of them turned out on Saturday to bid farewell to one of the country’s greats.

One such individual is former Calypso Monarch Grantley ‘Ipa’ Constance.

“When I heard about the death of Rasum, it was quite shocking because this was somebody who was in the prime of his life,” Constance told SEARCHLIGHT.

He said that he got to know Rasum during his stint in the band ‘Nature’.

Constance described Rasum’s death as a “sad loss to St Vincent and the Grenadines”, especially where culture was concerned.

“He would have done his village proud and made a significant contribution to the country,” Constance said.

Former X-A-Dus bandmate Robert ‘Patches’ Knights also paid homage to the deceased cultural icon whom he described as a dynamic vocalist.

“When he got on stage, really and truly, you had to play because his antics on stage would really inspire you,” Knights said.

“Being the prolific song writer that he was, he would always come with something that was enlightening and exciting,” he continued.

According to Knights, the two spent some time playing music in Mustique.

The very first Mustique Blues Fest featured the likes of Rasum, Pat Ralph and Ken Wiseman, all of whom Basil Charles, proprietor of Basil’s Bar and organizer of the event, specially requested and paid to attend and perform at the event, Knights said.

He also said that he was shocked after hearing of the death of Rasum, saying that they were well acquainted.

“I had the opportunity to visit his home on several occasions. We used to hang out,” he told SEARCHLIGHT.

Rasum made a significant contribution to Vincentian music. However, Knights said that the one regret he had was that Rasum did not get the opportunity to do more work.

“And leave a little more of that talent that he had.”

Nevertheless, Knights said that he was sure that the song ‘Perseverance’ will be one of the greatest songs penned by a Vincentian artiste.

Reigning Calypso Monarch, Maxwell ‘Tajo’ Francis also shared some sentiments, saying that he met Rasum while attending the Teachers’ College, where he said the two developed a good relationship.

“I especially like the fact that Rasum was one of those persons who was very humble – as an artiste and as a role model,” Francis said.

“In terms of being in the art form, he would have set the standard for what we as budding ‘kaisonians’ would have liked to reach – especially the song ‘Perseverance,” he continued.

According to Francis, it was every Calypsonian’s dream to write a song with that sort of stature.

In fact, he said that he would sing or hum verses from Rasum’s songs while he looks for inspiration for his own music.

“It is like a dose of medicine when I am getting ready to write,” Francis told SEARCHLIGHT.

He described Rasum as an icon.

“But having gone too soon, he did not get the opportunity to reach where he probably would have wanted to reach musically,” Francis said.

“He was very philosophical and lyrical, and not just lyrics, but he had a unique way of performing that always made it look easy,” he added. (DD)