Written by: Adela Scotland
It’s Christmas time again. The air is filled with the rich scents of sorrel, ham, and black cake. The streets are lit with colourful lights and the radio is playing parang after parang after parang. After a couple of songs have played, you’ve had your fill of Christmas for the day but then you hear it; “Christmas is big business they say,” the opening line of “It’s Christmas Again” by Baron and suddenly you wish that Christmas would never end. That’s the power of The Baron.
“The Sweet Soca Man,” is a phrase used to describe the one and only Baron of Trinidad and Tobago. Born on March 26th, 1948, Timothy Watkins Jr is one of the most prolific singers/songwriters in Caribbean history. With hits such as, “Melosian Rhapsody”, and “Doh Rock It So,” the popularity of his music is unquestionable.
Music is no stranger to Watkins as it has accompanied him all his life. As a child, growing up in Bamboo Village, La Romaine, Watkins sang Baptist spirituals in a church led by his parents. In 1970 at the age of 22 Baron won the Scouting For Talent competition and in 1971 he made his singing debut at the Original Young Brigade Calypso tent. In 1971 he also achieved his first hit with “Severe Licking,” a Calypso written by his longtime friend Lord Shorty. Lord Shorty would also go on to give Watkins his stage name “Baron.”
Baron spent the next 13 years of his life serenading the North American population with his sweet singing voice and catchy melodies before returning to Trinidad in 1984. He went on to have an outstanding singing career.
In Trinidad and Tobago, no Christmas is complete without the continuous playing of Baron’s sweet parang soca hits: “It’s Christmas again”, “Spanish Woman,” in which Baron’s sweet voice yearns for a Spanish woman to woo him and marry him and “Come Go,” in which Baron’s sweet voice complains about a wife that doesn’t understand the beauty of parang; he vows to take her to sing parang so that she can appreciate its majesty. His 2009 Album “Christmas With The Baron”, filled with covers of many Christmas classical songs and carols, adds local colour to the traditional feel of the Holidays. To add to his extensive array of Christmas songs, in 2022 he was featured on a Christmas track by Erphaan Alves called Mi Amor along with Alicia Jaggasar. Indeed the world can’t get enough of his enchanting voice and charisma.
Baron’s contribution to Calypso and the Caribbean music industry has not gone unnoticed. In 2016 the “Sweet Soca Man,” was awarded Trinidad and Tobago’s Humming Bird Gold medal for his incredible career as a Calypsonian. Moreover, in 2022 a street at the intersection of the Bamboo Junction and Gulf View Link Road in La Romaine was named in his honour.
As of 2022, Baron is 74 years old, living in Trinidad and Tobago with his wife Sherma Orr Watkins who he wedded in 2019. He intends to bring out more music. Whether he does or not, it cannot be disputed that his unique singing voice and catchy tunes have made a long-lasting impact on Christmas in the Caribbean and its Music Industry.
So as the Christmas season continues to blossom, the Caribbean airwaves are filled with the sweet soca parang of The Baron as it makes Christmas all the merrier.
Best of Trinidad.com www.bestoftrinidad.com
Loop News. tt.loopnews.com
Trinidad Express. https://trinidadexpress.com
Youtube. Com https://www.youtube.com
Guardian News Trinidad. https://www.guardian.co.tt/life/the-rise-of-the-remake-6.2.1021381.165391e29c
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