Former Road March King Dies

Calypsonian and former Saint Lucian Road March King Chippy has died. Chippy whose real name is Thomas Peter was best known for his winning road March song in 1988 “Second hand needle,” (One bad prick). The writer of that song Ronald “Boo” Hinkson this week fondly remembered Chippy as a warm person.                 “Chippy was a great guy to work with. He was really funny and all of us who knew him can remember his signature laugh on stage,” Boo told the STAR. “When I wrote the song, I needed someone who was sort of grass roots to perform it as well as someone who could express the ambiguity of the song, because it was about drugs and also about HIV/AIDS which at the time was just becoming a new and serious concern for us here in Saint Lucia,” the acclaimed singer, musician and songwriter added. Boo says that he was more than happy with the end result and added that Chippy’s passing is a sad loss for the music fraternity and Saint Lucia as a whole.
Another entertainer, TC Brown, also expressed sadness this week after hearing of the passing of Chippy. Brown recorded the hit Christmas song “Magdalena” with the singer in 2003. “I think this was the last recording Chippy did and one that ended up being an amazing song,” Brown informed the STAR. “When I started writing that song all I could hear in my head was a voice that sounded like Chippy. So I got my partner at the time Teddy Z to do whatever it would take to track Chippy down, who had practically retired at the time and bring him in studio,” Brown revealed. The result was an infectious and catchy song on the popular         “Changamus Rhythm.” “It was so amazing working with Chippy. He would just sit there before we started but as soon as he got in front of the microphone he lit up and enjoyed himself singing and recording and of course who could forget that unique laugh. He will be missed,” Brown expressed.
Chippy, who last resided at Chase Gardens, passed away at Victoria Hospital on March 7 at the age of seventy. As a Calypsonian, he was a member of the Master Blaster’s calypso tent and later Soca Village International. The former employee of Cable & Wireless (now LIME) was also a member of the Big Six band, one of the leading groups in Saint Lucia in the late sixties and 70’s. Chippy will be laid to rest on Thursday March 17, 2011.

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