Important Figures in Calypso and Soca

Granville Straker


Granville Straker

“One man operation- talent scout, recording/mixing engineer, record distributer, and concert promoter” 

A record store owner in Brooklyn. He began by selling American R&B and soul music to his customer base. Calypso music became popular amongst Caribbeans, and he was struggling to keep up with the demands of his customer base. He made Straker Records with a studio in Brookln to produce calypso music. He did everything to promote his record except sing calypso music. He even turned Straker Records into a transnational label; he opened record stores in Port de Spain. He also had the instrumentals recorded in Trinidad, brought them to Brooklyn to record the vocals, and did the final mixings at Brooklyn too.


Frankie McIntosh

Frankie “Maestro” McIntosh Musical arranger and soca keyboardist

Frankie McIntosh earned a bachelors degree in Brooklyn College and a MA in New York University. Before becoming the musical director of Straker records, he played in orchestras for Caribbean and American R&B and with jazz musicians. He collaborated in the album Disco Calypso where its biggest hit, “Coming High” was the most popular in Trinidad, St. Vincent, and Brooklyn. The song was also a key example of early soca; it had a melodic bassline, prominent synthesizer sound, and lengthy groove sections in the middle and the end of the piece.

When he joined Straker Records, he introduced a flexible, jazz- influenced effect on the sound that the studio was already making. He was a prominent figure in soca from Brooklyn during the 1970s and 1980s. He produced innovative soca music and brought to the studio many calypsonians including Chalk Dust, Calypso Rose, Lord Nelson, Duke and King Wellington.

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