Stalwarts of Antigua & Barbuda culture have been paying tribute to Sir McClean “King Short Shirt” Emanuel as he celebrates 50 years in the music business this year.
A series of activities which include concerts, publications and discussions were launched on Tuesday to celebrate the work of this musical icon.
Veteran pan player Leon “Kuma” Rodney told Observer Entertainment that he has always been a fan of the monarch.
“I remember doing a show, honouring him for the work he has done in Antigua,” Rodney recalled. “On that said show, every performer had to sing one of his songs.”
The former pan association president said, “It really has been a pleasure to have the opportunity of playing the melody produced by King Short Shirt Emanuel.”
Rodney called for “better recognition of our celebrity artists” even while admitting that “a small country like this can never do enough to show recognition to these persons.”
Veteran composer and cultural worker Dorbrene O’Marde, who is working on a biography of the 15-time calypso King, has also paid tribute.
He was one of close to 200 invited guests who attended the launch of the 50th anniversary celebrations for King Short Shirt Tuesday.
“A lot of it is his power as a performer. He has an amazing sense of timing, an amazing sense of rhythm and an amazing physical presence.
“This is beyond the content of his melodies, just this overpower of physicality was one of the great contributions of his work,” O’Marde said.
King Short, a former seven-time Road March king, also has seven regional calypso king titles to his name.