A Tribute to Cuba Gooding Senior

“The following “Barbadian” tribute will be read out tomorrow (Saturday 29th April) at the Memorial Service which is being held for the late Cuba Gooding senior at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York City”DAVID  COMISSIONG, President, Clement Payne Movement of Barbados, Chairman, Caribbean Pan-African Network

Cuba Gooding Sr

I am writing this tribute on Thursday the 27th of April– the birthday of Cuba Gooding senior– and I am writing it in  a country that I like to think of as the spiritual home of Cuba Gooding senior– the Caribbean island of Barbados, the birthplace of Cuba’s father, Dudley Mc Donald Gooding.

I am also writing it with the music of Cuba Gooding senior and the Main Ingredient ringing in my ears and reverberating in my soul. Music of profound and divine beauty and integrity. Sensitive, intelligent and sophisticated music. Socially conscious music. Uplifting and positive music that is imbued with great wisdom and insight. Music capable of fostering Black pride, dignity and a sense of community!

And so, after feasting for years on such songs as “Rolling Down The Mountainside”, “Happiness Is Just Around The Bend”, “Euphrates”, and “Black Seeds Keep On Growing”, it did not surprise me to learn that Cuba Gooding senior was the son of a great Pan-Africanist of a father– a proud Bajan man who migrated to Cuba in 1936, and who, hand in hand  with his courageous Cuban wife, stood up for the Black liberation principles of Marcus Garvey in pre-revolutionary racist Cuba, and suffered for the cause.

I would like it to be widely known that there are several of us in Barbados who are ardent admirers of the tremendous musical accomplishments of the late Cuba Gooding senior, and who are extremely proud that his ancestral roots are to be found in our native land.

Indeed, a few years ago, Mr Richard Stoute— one of Barbados’ most accomplished veteran entertainers– and I reached out to Cuba Gooding senior in an attempt to bring him to Barbados in order to have him impact upon and influence the young and up-coming generation of Barbadian singers and entertainers.

The entire world has gotten to know one particular young Barbadian entertainer by the name of Rihanna, but there are many other equally talented young Barbadians, and Richard Stoute and I considered that there could be no better international mentor and role model for the scores of young aspiring singers that Richard routinely trains and nurtures than the great Barbados-rooted lead singer of the Main Ingredient.

And so, with the help of Cuba’s Barbadian niece– Rhonda— we made contact with Cuba , and discovered that he was enthusiastic about our project and was more than willing to come to Barbados and make a contribution to our Barbadian youth.

But unfortunately, while Richard Stoute and I had the vision and understood just how much the great Cuba Gooding could deliver to the young aspiring singers of Barbados, those in officialdom who controlled the resources necessary to make the project happen couldn’t quite see the light!

Now, with Cuba Gooding’s tragic passing we know that the project cannot take place in the way we had initially envisaged.But take place it must and will!

You see, the sheer excellence of Cuba Gooding’s vocal technique, the technical brilliance of the Main Ingredient recordings, and the outstanding artistic and social integrity of Gooding’s many classic songs, are resources that are far too rare and precious not to introduce and reintroduce– again and again — to generation after generation of young black musical artistes, whether they be in New York USA, Kingston Jamaica, Accra Ghana, Johannesburg South Africa, or Bridgetown Barbados.

Cuba Gooding senior may have passed off this earthly realm, but he cannot really die! No artiste who has produced such a body of classic, ever-green work can ever really die. For if the work lives, then the artiste lives on as well– in the hearts and souls and memories of living, breathing men and women.

We, the members of the patriotic, Black conscious, Pan-Africanist community of Barbados salute you Cuba Gooding senior. We lift up your name. We lift up your music. We lift you up as an imperishable example  for generations to come. Indeed, we respect and honour you as a “black seed” that will keep on growing, even into eternity.

 

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12 Comments on “A Tribute to Cuba Gooding Senior”

  1. Rosemary Parkinson April 29, 2017 at 9:14 AM #

    I would like to add that in the little time I spent in the company of Cuba Gooding Sr, both here and in Jamaica where I got to see him on stage; he never stopped talking about his pride re his connection to Barbados. I may be mistaken but if I remember rightly, I do believe he was given a Barbadian passport. I do know this was his reason for spending time on the island determined to hold one in his hands. Cuba was larger than life, down to earth, with a voice and a hug that was filled with vigour and warmth, and a smile that was like sunshine. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

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  2. David April 29, 2017 at 9:20 AM #

    Why does Barbados struggle to convert these relationships to the benefit of the local cultural landscape?

    Like

  3. Kevin April 29, 2017 at 10:31 AM #

    How did he die? I heard and read it was a possible overdose.

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  4. Well Well & Consequences Observing Blogger April 29, 2017 at 11:35 AM #

    Loved his 2 hit songs with the Main Ingredient, pure genius.

    Like

  5. ANGEL MELAINE April 29, 2017 at 12:16 PM #

    MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY. I MET MR. GOODING WEN I WAS A LITTEL GIRL AT DISNEYLAND. THEN I HAD THE PRIVILEDGE OF MEETING HIM AGAIN IN BOSTON WHEN I WAS A TEENAGER. HIS VOCAL TECHNIQUE WAS ONE OF A KIND. HIS CLASS, PRIDE AND SOCIAL CONSCIOUSNESS WERE AS BRIGHT AS THAT INFECTIOUSSMILE. WE HAVE ROOTS IN BARBADOS AND CUBA AND FOR THAT I AM PROUD. MAY HE REST IN DESERVED PEACE. ALLYOU MEN AND MUSICIANS OUT THERE TAKE A LESSON IN HIS EXAMPLE AND LEGACY. BLESSIGNS, HUGS AND LOVE….

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  6. David April 29, 2017 at 12:55 PM #

    Top tracks of Cuban Gooding Snr

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  7. David Comissiong April 29, 2017 at 3:36 PM #

    David, this is a Disco remake of the original Soul / R&B recording. It does not do justice to the original recording.

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  8. David April 29, 2017 at 3:41 PM #

    @DC

    It is a medley of 28 songs.

    Here is the version you are looking for.

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  9. Hants April 29, 2017 at 4:15 PM #

    Condolences to the family.

    Truly talented singer.

    Like

  10. Shontelle R. Brathwaite April 30, 2017 at 4:38 AM #

    To update…

    My IQ registered around 200, in one of the top three Bajan schools, that was their ultimate issue, they regret Bajans being born,not so hidden…thinking we didn’t know that about ourselves, I’m very refined, and well spoken although rustic…I opted for a Basque man…a rustic and intelligent…not intimidated by strong women…thinking no women in the world and “too good” for them, they have the best woman, a female line, like ourselves…our heraldry (Flag and Coat of Arms) say quite a bit…look at the Basque cities, hear their cute accent…invite them to visit their rock…the 9 cat women’s places are nice…well, similitude of a cat, before they think we’re actual animals, how to woo a Basque, the cultured ones, was my actual problem, the conundrum…

    Basques a preoccupied with looking Basque, some with being pure Basques…as I know, but we’re Bayjans (Arawak-Carib) even the darkest of us have clear skinned children as is natural to us with bright luminous skin like mine in the winter…

    Bajans are Bajans, mixed with Africa, and they became nigguhs and nuunigguhs, not being Nika and Rapa Nui Moai…previously, changing panboodem…I have Songhayy and Malis’ noble lines in my ancestry…Mansa, they became Bayjun Kyarib’bee’yun Indeez Graytuh in Lessuh Antuleez Teekumteebakaila’eemee’ee’ting~…having children…our much appreciated coke-bottle shape…is pretty unique to specific places…Arawak-Carib chief line, as I am, contains the entire Caribbean region, highlighted in our varied hair textures and patterns, the day we are considered Biafra…is the day the entire Caribbean Basin is Africa…

    They think West Indians are all blind? All can’t see contour? Don’t hear language…Can’t see eye shape? Don’t know our national average IQ? Our highest IQs? It’s from a unique language and perspective…

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  11. Shontelle R. Brathwaite April 30, 2017 at 6:48 AM #

    Dark skin isn’t African only, nonsense…furthermore the omen is known throughout the Caribbean, whenever you touch the similitude of gas giants in a way befitting , you never get what you want or end up dead

    Similitude of the gas giants…a menace we live with…that we don’t acknowledge because everything knows it’s place…

    Like

  12. Kammie Holder April 30, 2017 at 11:07 AM #

    Born the fourth of five children, at Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in Hammersmith, London to a British mother of Barbadian–Belgian descent and a Nigerian father, Siffre was brought up in Bayswater and Hampstead and educated at a Catholic independent day school, St Benedict’s School, in Ealing, west London.[1] Despite his Catholic education, Siffre has stated that he has always been an atheist.

    Like

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