4/25/23 O&A NYC SONG OF THE DAY: Harry Belafonte – Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) (Live)

Harry Belafonte sings his most popular song Day-O, an excerpt from his television special Harry Belafonte in Concert (Japan, 1960)”. Recorded live at Sankei Hall, Tokyo, 18 July 1960. From the album Calypso” (1956)

In 1956, the album Calypso became the first in US history to sell more than one million copies. It spent 31 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts and made Belafonte a household name. The first track was Banana Boat Song, better known as Day-O in reference to its famous chorus. It is a traditional Jamaican folk tune – and thus not technically a calypso – sung from the point of view of dock workers loading fruit on to ships. “Daylight come and me wan’ go home” became his anthem.

The album introduced American audiences to Calypso music (which had originated in Trinidad and Tobago  in the early 19th century), and Belafonte was dubbed the “King of Calypso”, a title he wore with reservations since he had no claims to any Calypso Monarch titles. 

Harry Belafonte – Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) (Live)

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