Ras Shorty I

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With his late-'60s and 1970s recordings, Lord Shorty (born: Garfield Blackman) set the foundations of soca, the Trinidadian musical style that blends Indian percussion and traditional calypso. His albums,…
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With his late-'60s and 1970s recordings, Lord Shorty (born: Garfield Blackman) set the foundations of soca, the Trinidadian musical style that blends Indian percussion and traditional calypso. His albums, Sweet Music, released in 1974, and Endless Vibration, released the following year, remain soca classics.

Becoming deeply religious in the early '80s, Shorty converted to Rastafarianism and renamed himself Ras Shorty I. From that point, he switched to spiritually uplifting songs that he set to a new rhythm that he called "jamoo." He continued in this path until his death on July 12, 2000, from multiple myelome, a bone marrow cancer.

Shorty's greatest success came shortly before his death. His anti-drug song "Watch Out My Children," released in 1997, was an international hit and has been translated and re-recorded in several languages.