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    Lionel Belasco

    Jew Score:
    7

    I3

    O1

    K3
    1881 – June 24, 1967

    In 1945, the calypso song "Rum and Coca-Cola" topped the American music charts. It was a strange pairing for the Andrews Sisters, who sang the song, and comedian Morey Amsterdam, who wrote it. Calypso, with its origins in Trinidad, was not exactly a match for the lily-white sisters or the Jewish lyricist.

    As it turns out, there was a reason for that. Amsterdam, who visited Trinidad two years prior, "borrowed" the song from Lionel Belasco, one of the most prominent calypso artists. (The interesting note is that Belasco was Jewish as well, the son of a Sephardic father and an Afro-Caribbean mother.) The two sides got embroiled in a lawsuit, which eventually ended in a split decision.

    Amsterdam made a few subtle changes, however. Compare his version:

    Young girls say they treat 'em nice
    Make Trinidad like paradise

    to Belasco's:

    Saw that the Yankees treat them nice
    And they give them a better price

    We honestly don't see the original version rising to #1 in America...

    Verdict: Borderline Jew.

    August 10, 2020

    See Also

    Errol Barrow

    Jamaica Kincaid

    Bob Marley

    Sean Paul

    Buck Ram
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2020.