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Nov 4, 2008

BYRON LEE: THE PASSING OF A LEGEND


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Byron Lee passed away on November 4, 2008, at age 73. 

What does www.goudasfoods.com have in common with an entertainer? 

Please refer to the article written for the Indo Caribbean Newspaper in 1997, and page 78 of The Immigrant, Mr. Goudas biography, you will notice that Byron Lee and the Dragonaires are mentioned. 

Upon learning that Byron Lee had passed away, Mr. Goudas paused for a moment, and a sudden sadness overcame him. 

He went on to explain that he became acquainted with Byron Lee at The 813 Club where Byron visited one night together with members of his crew. He reflected that initially, he did not realize who the gentleman was because of his Chinese features. (Mr. Goudas himself was referred to as Mr. Whoo because of his Chinese-like features, and upon seeing Peter and Byron together, one of his employees noted that the Chinese had invaded Caribbean music.) 

In conversation with Byron Lee, Mr. Goudas mentioned that he had a new theme song, Goudas Rice is very nice, which appears on the main page of the website with the rice and beans orchestra, and jokingly asked him to transform the rhythm into Ska, reggae or soca which was the music Byron Lee was heavily into at the time. Upon hearing the rhythm, he advised Mr. Goudas, in his heavy Jamaican accent: Do not change it man, the rhythm is perfect! 

Byron Lee and the Dragonaires were involved in each Caribana Festival from the early beginnings and was the featured band at many dances leading up to the festival, and was The Band to party with. He blended the music from the islands together so well that many people initially thought he was from Trinidad. He was very versatile 

Mr. Goudas further acknowledges that Byron Lee made a major contribution to Caribbean music with his Dragonaires and was instrumental in the implementation of production and recording. 

He will be greatly missed. 

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