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White College Boy Steelbands" in 1950s Trinidad: how middle-class teenagers helped the steelpan gain national acceptance

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This document highlights the increased involvement of “ college boys ” or “ white college boys ” - better-educated middle-class white and light-skinned persons - in steelbands in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Following an introductory overview of the

This document highlights the increased involvement of “ college boys ” or “ white college boys ” - better-educated middle-class white and light-skinned persons - in steelbands in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Following an introductory overview of the demography of Trinidad and Tobago, the history of Carnival, and the interregnum of the temporary instruments used between the ban of indigenous drums in the 1880s and the invention of the steelpan at the end of the 1930s, this document will examine the history and membership of these college boy bands, with particular emphasis on the Hit Paraders. Two factors that highlight the vital role played by these college boy steelbands are discussed: commercial sponsorship of bands, and support that bands received from the People's National Movement Party. A detailed timeline of steelpan invention and innovations is also included.

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2011