Swallow – Party In Space (1983) (Charlie’s Records SCR 324)

Party In Space
1983 Charlie’s Records SCR 324


King Swallow is a famous Antiguan calypso and soca artist, but I confess that I picked up this album for the cover photo of the first Challenger space shuttle launch.  There is a rumor that when NASA became aware of this album, they tried to sue Swallow for the unauthorized use of a Department of Defense image (now in the public domain, you can see the original below).  They reached a settlement in which NASA received a thousand copies of the album and a promise not to do it again.  The copies were distributed to Challenger team members, and allegedly playing the record during launches became a tradition for the next nine missions.  Hence it is very likely that the sounds of “Party In Space” were last things heard by Challenger crew when it exploded a minute after takeoff in 1986.  You can hear it below.  Musically this is solid early-80’s soca.  But like nearly all soca albums, it probably works best if you drop a song here or there in a mix or a playlist.  Otherwise it can get repetitive.  These LPs were built around whatever song the artist was promoting to be a given year’s mas / carnival road march anthem, after all, so filler is nearly inevitable.

A 1 Rude Boy Baccanal
A 2 Rise Antigua Rise
A 3 Ah Like It
B 1 Party In Space
B 2 Long And Sweet
B 3 Soca Take Over

Arranged By – Leston Paul
Backing Vocals – Charmaine Yates, Glenda Ifill
Bass – Emmanuel Ector
Drums, Percussion – Eddie Hall, Errol Wise
Guitar – Junior Wharwood, Anthony Voison
Saxophone [Tenor] – Leo Stevenson, Mauricio Smith
Trombone – Clifton Anderson
Trumpet [1st] – Errol Ince
Trumpet [2nd] – Al Mercado, Mac Gollehon

Producer – Rawlston Charles

LINEAGE: Charlie’s Records SCR 324 vinyl; Pro-Ject RM-5SE with Audio Tecnica AT440-MLa cartridge; Speedbox power supply; Creek Audio OBH-15; Audioquest King Cobra cables; M-Audio Audiophile 192 Soundcard ; Adobe Audition at 32-bit float 96khz; clicks and pops removed with Click Repair on very light settings, manually auditioning the output; further clicks removed with Adobe Audition 3.0; dithered and resampled using iZotope RX Advanced. Converted to FLAC in either Trader’s Little Helper or dBPoweramp. Tags done with Foobar 2000 and Tag and Rename.

Space Transportation System Number 6, Orbiter Challenger, lifts off from Pad 39A carrying astronauts Paul J. Weitz, Koral J. Bobko, Donald H. Peterson and Dr. Story Musgrave.


Veteran calypsonian Rupert “King Swallow” Philo has been recognised for contributing nearly 50 years to the soca and calypso art form.

King Swallow, also called the Dean of Calypso, received the honour during a dinner and award ceremony organised by the National Festivals Office to mark the close of a 10-week workshop for calypso adjudicators.

Assistant Manager of the National Festivals Office Patricia Louisa Tully gave an overview of King Swallow’s career, which began with his first outing on the Carnival stage in 1962. He placed second runner-up.

Since then, he has won the monarch crown on four occasions and the Road March title five times.

During the past 50 years the vibrant, fiery and pulsating rhythms of his soca hits have created frenzy wherever and whenever he performs. This has in some measure overshadowed his mastery of political and social commentary as evidenced by classics such as Dawn of a New Day; One Hope, One Love, One Destiny; Rise Antigua Rise; and Man to Man.

But add to the mix hits that mesmerised the crowds like Don’t Stop the Party, Party in Space, Subway Jam, Satan Coming Down and Soca Kingdom to complete the definition of a master at work.

To date, King Swallow has reigned as the Caribbean Calypso King, and is the recipient of three Sunshine Awards. He has also received national honours in Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada.

Here at home, he has been awarded Grand Cross of the Most Princely Heritage.

King Swallow still holds the distinction of being the first calypsonian to grace the stage at Radio City Music Hall.

King Swallow also established and managed the oldest calypso tent, the Calypso Pepper Pot dubbed the University of Calypso.

The fierce rivalry between King Swallow and his long-standing rival Sir McClean “King Short Shirt” Emanuel contributed to some of the highest attendance at Calypso Monarch shows.

Other members of the calypso fraternity who paid tribute to the veteran calypsonian were Edmund “Mighty Douglas” Dowdie; Yvonne “YB” Benjamin; Carl “De Pan Man” Richards; President of the Calypsonians Association Adelza “Lypstick” Sheridan; Chevaughn “Lyrics Man” Weston; and Paul “King Obstinate” Richards.

At the ceremony, the judges who attended the workshop also honoured King Swallow who was an observer during the 10-week session.

Meanwhile, the adjudicators were also presented with certificates. They were Acres Stowe, Celia Mayers-Moore, Eldora Sylvester, Erinmore Francis, Garfield Christian, Jackie Shannon, Jerome Bleau, Patrick Reynolds, Rachel Collis, Roger Apparicio, Sharon Davis, Vanroy Burnes and Vellie Benta.

The other observers were Sheridan, Dowdie, Donna Chaia, Egbert Joseph, and Ortiz De Silva.


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One Comment

  1. Secondary School

    Thank you for wonderful music again.
    Trying not to think about the Challenger crew when dancing to “Fire, fire, the galaxy’s on fire”.

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