“Is Paris Burning?” A Trinidadian musical retrospective.

Is Paris Burning? is the name of a 1966 movie of the same name based on the question reportedly asked by Adolf Hitler following his order to destroy the city rather than let it be re-captured by the Allies in late August 1944. The story was adapted into a feature film by the same name in 1966.

Is Paris burning?” Hitler is said to have screamed into the phone to General Von Choltitz, the German commander of occupied Paris. The general disobeyed orders to destroy the city which could have cost him his life, since the Nazi dictator had no tolerance for disobedience.

In 1967, Paramount Pictures in Trinidad sponsored a steelband competition held in conjunction with panorama featuring interpretations of the soundtrack of the movie.
The competition was won by Solo Harmonites, with an Earl Rodney arrangement.
The prize was a trip to Surinam.

Guinness Cavaliers played an arrangement by their leader Lennox “Bobby” Mohammed and placed third , with their main feature being their powerful and dramatic basslines.

Here is Guinness Cavaliers and “Is Paris Burning?”

Guinness Cavaliers “Is Paris Burning?” (1967)

The Cavaliers version was very impressive on the road that carnival, however my favorite, more complete interpretation of the movie’s soundtrack is by the fabulous orchestra led by the late musical legend , arranger and trumpeter Ron Berridge.

The Ron Berridge Orchestra ” Is Paris Burning?”

My friend and musical hero Mr Ron Berridge passed away on June 2nd, 2021.

Lennox”Bobby” Mohammed passed away on May 21st, 2021.

May they both Rest in Eternal Peace .

Ron Berridge
Lennox “Bobby” Mohammed

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