He became renowned not only for delivering social commentary: political and witty, humorous songs with equal skill, dignity and lyrical mastery, but also for his charismatic stately stage presence and for being one of the best-dressed calypsonians of all time. Indeed, his sartorial skills were often the envy of those in an industry pregnant with prima donnas and rife with egotists.
To date, Duke is the only Calypsonian in Trinidad and Tobago’s history to have won the Calypso Monarch title four consecutive times: 1968 with “What is Calypso” and “Social Bacchanal,” 1969 with “Black is Beautiful” and “One Foot Visina,” 1970 with “Brotherhood of Man” and “See Through” and 1971 with “Mathematical Formula” and “Melvie and Yvonne.” He also won the Road March Title with “Thunder” in 1987.
In a career that spanned over 50 years, Duke consistently demonstrated that he had a firm grasp of international and regional Caribbean issues and a thorough understanding of the importance of a global awareness. With such songs as “How Many More Must Die” and “Apartheid” he was a vocal critic of colonialism and apartheid in Africa. In 1970, Mighty Duke was honored with the Humming Bird gold medal for his musical accomplishments.
The Duke lived a long and fulfilling life recording Calypsos from 1964. His Calypsos remain a living testament to the momentous contribution of this mighty calypso icon and he will be remembered for his passion for the art form and one of the best in the business – present or past. Below are some of the songs that Duke recorded over the years:
1964 - Woop Wap; Racial Segregation
1968 - What Is Calypso, Social Bacchanal
1969 - All Night, Tonight; Black Is Beautiful; Bring It Back; One Foot Visina
1970 - Beast for Sale; Brotherhood of Man; See Through
1971 - Mathematical Formula; Melvie and Yvonne; Carnival in Trinidad
1973 - Tonight
1974 - Ah Never Do That; Ah Wish Ah Was; Axe Handle Freda; Class Is Class; Cock of the Rock
1977 - Uhuru; Mr. Jarvis; Be Yourself; Black Is Back; Calypso Will Never Die; The Cannibals; Carnival Fire
1978 - Barbers Complaints; Black Woman; Carnival Time 1979 -Bam Bam Oui; Do What You Doing
1980 - Freaking Streaking
1981 - Answer the Question; A Point of Direction
1982 - Mystery of Life; No Man But Me; Advantage; Babylon Go Fall
1983 - Love Me All Over; DJ Honeyneedle
1984 - Rock Meh; Land of Love
1985 - Ah Got The Feeling; Apartheid; Artificial World
1986 - How Many More Must Die; Treat Your Woman Nice; Ah Want You To Love Me
1987 - Thunder
1988 - Outrageous; Pan in Yuh Rookcung-Kertungcung; Acid Wash
1989 - Yahhh Hhhh; Ah Tired Do That
1991 - Get on Radical
1992 - Rocket in Yuh Pocket
1993 - Role Model; Yuh Come to Dance
1994 - Soca Have Meh Tu Bey
1995 - Don’t Destroy Calypso; Get A Life
1996 - Play Yourself; Furhman
2000 - Things Chang
2001 - Memories of the Yeare Up; Horn Proof; There’s No Excuse.