The Godfather Of Bahamian Music
Today Skempi News features a profile of the late Bahamian music legend and cultural icon Ronnie Butler. He was a famous Bahamian calypso and Rake-and-scrape singer, a music genre native to The Bahamas which features the Goombay drum, the Accordion and a hand saw, whose career spanned five decades.
Born Ronald Butler on August 17th, 1937 in Nassau, Bahamas, his career began at the age of 16 and he went on to perform at Bahamian local spots like Ronnie’s Rebel Room, the Rum Key, Big Bamboo, the Trade Winds Lounge, and Nassau Beach Hotel.
Once he struck popularity with hit songs like “Burma Road”, “Crow Calypso” and “Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number”, he went on to tour throughout Europe, South America and North America. His achievements garnered him many awards, including a Cacique Award, a Bahamas Icon Award and a membership in the Order of The British Empire, which he received in 2003.
He passed away on November 19th, 2017 from cancer at the age of 80. His passing elicited a national outpouring of grief as he has truly left a lasting legacy.
Listen below to the single “Burma Road”, written in 1967 and the most popular hit of his career.