Monday, 9 March 2020

a kind of spouge

Dalton Sinclair Bishop (also known by his stage name Jackie “Manface” Opel), of Bridgetown, Barbados (*1937) had his promising career as a song-writer and performer tragically cut short this day in 1970, killed in an auto accident in his hometown. Though his discography and legacy with standards like Higher and Higher, You’re No Good, and When a Man Loves a Woman are in themselves unimpeachable, Opel is most famous for his invention of a genre of music called Spouge (sometimes spelled Spooge) as a fusion of ska and calypso styles that was very popular in the mid-1960s, both regionally and further abroad, influencing hymns, gospel music and sea-shanties amongst the diaspora. Instrumentation was originally limited to cow bell, bass guitar and steel drums but eventually expanded to trombones and trumpets—and even synthesizers with the style’s perennial rediscovery and homages.