When Steel-bands celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s visit to T&T, February 1966

Guinness Cavaliers Steel Orchestra – Lord Kitchener’s “Ting Tang” (1966)

Cavaliers playing for the Queen and the Duke

Guinness Cavaliers performing at the reception in honor of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s visit to Trinidad in 1966 , which was held at the Governor General’s house in Port of Spain .

My dear friends , this is one of those pieces of pan music that transports me back to the 1960s , when the steel-bands ruled the roads of T&T at carnival time , and Guinness Cavaliers was one of the most powerful and dominant of them all.
In February , 1966. Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh visited Trinidad and Tobago.
Since this was about three weeks prior to the carnival , a sort of mini carnival was held in their honor , and several steel-bands were invited to perform in a mini-Carnival parade.
Guinness Cavaliers of San Fernando had shocked the pan world by winning the previous panorama and were invited to perform.
These were not the days of “Combo” steel-bands on trucks , so of course Cavaliers went up to “town” in full force.
One of the tunes performed by Cavaliers that day was this tune , composed specially by The Grand Master of Calypso ,Lord Kitchener for the occasion , called “Ting Tang”. ( Ting tang , darling , de Queen and de Duke coming”.

Lord Kitchener – “Ting Tang” (1966)


Here from 1966 is The Guinness Cavaliers Steel Orchestra and a Lennox “Bobby’ Mohammed arrangement of Lord Kitchener’s “Ting Tang”.

This version of the tune in no way represents the impact Cavaliers had that day , but , my dear friends , I can assure you that the legendary San Fernando steelband put a scare in the big Port of Spain steel-bands with their power, and were the talk of the town for days after.

Guinness Cavaliers Steel Orchestra – Lord Kitchener’s “Ting Tang” arranged by Lennox “Bobby ” Mohammed

This Pathe’ Newsreel gives an account of the Queen and Duke’s visit featuring the mini-carnival , and you can actually see Guinness Cavaliers in performance on that day.

Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Trinidad in 1966

Desperadoes Steel Orchestra

Fans of the legendary Desperadoes Steel Orchestra would appreciate this fine arrangement of Kitchener’s “Ting Tang” , arranged by Beverly Griffith that was also featured at the occasion.

Desperadoes Steel Orchestra- Kitch’s “Ting Tang”

4 thoughts on “When Steel-bands celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s visit to T&T, February 1966

  1. Very informative.Do you have any recordings from”SeaBees” steelband led by Steve Lalsing.They recorded”Teddy Bears Picnic” with Frankie Francis on sax on a Telco label.garvi

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  2. Glenroy, Yes I remember when Cavaliers came to town in 1965 with Melody’s Mas. I and my friends, all in our teens, were about to leave Panorama when suddenly a huge mass of dust was rising in the atmosphere. A sign of something huge coming. But it was not merely the size of the band. It was the brilliance and ring of the tenors. Alan Gervais’ tenors had come to town. Neville Jules ceased to tune after that and took pans down to Point Fortin for Gervais to tune for All Stars in 1966. Ellie began to re-consider his long held options to migrate and did indeed in 1967.

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    1. Yes I remember 65-66. Cavaliers had a tremendous impact on the sound of steelband, both the arranging style , and the sound of their pans, and some of that impact remains to this day.
      I also remember the suspense and anticipation in the savannah before the band took off down the drag in the rain of panorama 66

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