I do not wish to write about Daddy Friday with columns of sadness. His loss, even today, is still felt around the world for all those who loved him and followed fervently as he performed with the Jam Band. So as Daddy lived his life full of joy and energy, I will write about him in those tones.
Today, Friday October 4th marks 14 years since Nick Daddy' Friday departed this life due to complications from diabetes. Universally, it is said that Daddy was taken too soon from this life. Whilst at first I too struggled to understand why this Caribbean icon was called home so soon, I eventually made peace leaning on the belief that great men are called to do their work for an appointed time, after which they are called back to serve in concert with the Creator who sent them forward. Daddy Friday in my estimation, and to the view of many around the world, is one such person.
There was an infectious spirit that resonated when you were in the presence of Daddy. Whenever you were around him you had no choice but to laugh, as he was filled with life and shared jokes aplenty.
His zest for life was also evident in his political views. He was a staunch defender of the people and even with his catchy up-tempo tunes; he sang songs about the plight of the people and the injustices that were commonplace that he observed. The people loved him and he in return loved the people.
Some say Daddy had a timid side to him. Perhaps so, but that thought would be quickly dismissed when he grabbed a hold of a microphone and performed - for the individual on stage whipping crowds into a frenzy was a man fuelled with the command from on high to make the people jam! And jam they did.
Daddy Friday is remembered mainly for his work with Eddie and the Movements who eventually became known as The Awesome Jam Band. Year after year Daddy would hit you with songs that had distinct melodious beats to make listeners dance, but also many of his songs as I referred to earlier, carried a message. It was the message in the music, his phrasing, his style and his mastery of ex-tempo that made him unique. Many tried to defeat Daddy for the Road march title and failed repeatedly.
Great lyricists are not easily found in the Soca music fraternity. Many write songs but how many can truly write lyrics that are imaginative, commanding and at the same time pulsating? Daddy Friday was in a class of his own as a lyricist, and this he used to great effect in propelling the Jam Band, along with his other band members towards being the best band that graced the stage or the road in the Virgin Islands and by extension many of the international destinations they played to.
He asked many a time in a live jam, Who's your Daddy? And he was well responded to by a frenzied crowd shouting back Friday!
Who's your Daddy? FRIDAY!
See below a full list of Daddy's Road March Victories:
1984: Tramping Style
1989: We Run Things
1991: Let Loose
1995: Man Terrible
1996: Time for Wuk
1997: Road Runner
2000: Inspection Lane
2001: Tear Down de Roof
2005: How to Take de Road