Smokey Burke

Smokey Burke's picture
Biography: 

Smokey Burke, an icon of Barbadian entertainment, has been able to transcend the many new genres and fads over the years as he dates back to the late sixties! Starting out as a drummer/band leader and eventually graduating to lead vocalist status, he has successfully combined this with his excellent song-writing talent to score hits locally in several styles: Spouge, R&B, Ballads, Xmas, Folk and Calypso. He had 5 Top Ten hits in his native Barbados during the early 70’s!

The mid-eighties saw him touring internationally with the world renowned Drifters and this was all bracketed by a noteworthy 20 year sojourn in Toronto, Canada, where he once won the national singing contest, “Du Maurier Search for Stars”. His return to Barbados in the late nineties led to his immersion into the folk and calypso fora with many awards in the former, and after years of being denied entry, he is now referred to by many as a “shareholder” in the contests of the latter. Smokey has no intention of ceding to the seemingly endless supply of burgeoning young alent popping up in Barbados and continues to be a force where others of his vintage have apparently given up, or have been left behind.  Look out for the return to his R&B roots with the soon-to-be released CD single “Is There Another Love in Your Life” (2006). There is also an entry on the 2007 released World Cup compilation titled “Kensington”. In the same year (2007), Smokey again graced the stage of the Finals at the National Stadium to place a creditable 5th. 

Whereas the 2008 year results have been disappointing when Smokey Burke’s name shockingly did not appear on the 2nd level of either competition, he has been doing the dog with his biggest kaiso ever, DUCK! In 2009 Smokey is hitting hard with 4 Crop Over tunes: MY PARTY IN POWER…,MO’ MONEY, MANGO LONG & PAN MAN CHASE! He will also release his 1st calypso/soca CD: The Black Album, a compilation of all his banned songs!! 2010 proved to be very challenging as a major medical problem took him out of his entertainment mode but happily in 2011 he’s back to full health and was awarded the CORNERSTONE award at the Barbados Music Awards! A versatile artiste, Smokey Burke is a worthy addition to any performing line-up!

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DISCOGRAPHY

(non-calypso)

YEAR

SONG/TITLE

LABEL

B’DOS HIT PARADE POSITION

 

1974

TELL HER I’M SORRY/HELP ME LOVE

MERRYDISC

#1 (BOTH)

 

1975

GET IT TOGETHER/ BABY I’M ON FIRE

WIRL

#1 (#3 C’bean)/#3

 

1976

A LITTLE UNDERSTANDING/MAKE THIS MOMENT LAST

WIRL

#12/did not chart

 

1977

BYE BYE LOVE

WIRL

#2

 

2001

COME INTO MY LIFE

BAJE RECORDS

N/A

 

2003

AIN’ NO SUNSHINE (on Rickey Aimey’s MAKE YOUR MOVE CD)

M2 PRODUCTIONS

N/A

 

2004

CHRISTMAS SHOES

CRS

N/A

 

2006

IS THERE ANOTHER LOVE

IND

N/A

 

2007

KENSINGTON

CRS

N/A

 

CALYPSO RELEASES

YEAR

SONG/TITLE

LABEL

1989 (E.P)

SMOKEY COMIN’/WILL THERE BE CROPOVER/THE BOMB

WIRL

1992

DAY IN THE LIFE/PEACE ON THE ROCK

WIRL

1994 (ALBUM-SHE LIKE UM BAD)

SHE LIKE UM BAD/BAJAN CANE/WHO JUDGING THE JUDGE ET AL

CHIMNEY TOP

1999

MENTAL SLAVERY

RHP

(SPIRIT OF THE RHYTHM VOL. 4-(COMPILATION)

2000

ME AH KNOW

CRS

(COMPILATION)

2001

DRINK A RUM

CRS

(C’BEAN XMAS VOL. 2-(COMPILATION)

2003

DE WHOLE DAY & PUT IT IN DE TRUNK

M2 PRODUCTIONS

(CROP OVER CARNIVAL COMPILATION)

2004

WHY I SING CALYPSO/ARTHUR SEAT

C’BEAN RECORDS

2006

DE PLANTATION LINGERS ON

IND

2007

CAT-ASTROPHE/ALL POLITICIANS

IND

N/A

2008

DUCK (on BLOODTIES Compilation)

 

N/A

2008

LICKS LIKE PEAS

 

CRS MUSIC

 

#2 HOTT

95 .3

2008

MY DREAM

IND

NO RATING

2009

MANGO LONG

(CHAOS COMP)

REDDHEAD RECORDS

N/A

2009

PAN MAN CHASE

MY PARTY IN POWER

N/A

N/A

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • Was asked by both the Platters and Jimmy Cliff to tour as a drummer in the 70’s.
  • 1st Barbadian artiste to score #1 on both sides of a single (45).
  • Opened for the Staple Singers in Barbados at the National Stadium.
  • 1975 - Smokey Burke Live at the National Stadium.
  • Opened for Millie Jackson at Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto, Canada, 1982.
  • Toured with internationally renowned Drifters from 1985-1989.
  • Toured Barbados with the Troubadors International in 1991.
  • Promotional tour across Canada for Barbados Tourism Authority in 1996.
  • Appeared at the 1st Vintage Calypso Show at Sunbury in 1998 with Singing Sandra, Sugar Aloes & Baron.
  • Chief Judge at the Richard Stoute Teen Talent Contest.
  • Promoted and produced several major Barbadian & Caribbean shows in Toronto; also the critically acclaimed Embassy Parade of Champions at Independence ’98 in Barbados.
  • Won numerous awards at NIFCA including Best Original Song (Characters of the City) for 2000. In 2001 his De Girl Pretty, But She Just Can’t Cook took the airwaves by storm with its live version from the NIFCA Gala.
  • Won the CBC Folk Song Contest in 1999 with Characters of the City.
  • Produced & promoted On the Campaign Trail & Everything is Everything two highly successful shows for comedian Trevor Eastmond.
  • Star performer at the 2000 Barbados Tourism Awards Show at Frank Collymore Hall.
  • Was asked to open the 2000 NIFCA Season with Characters of the City.
  • Stellar artiste at the Barbados on the Water tour to Toronto, May 2001.
  • Took part in the BTA’s tour to the US during which the catastrophic 9/11 occurred. Scaaaary!!!!
  • Placed in the Barbados Top 100 hits of all time (November 2002) with two of his early hits, Get It Together & Help Me Love at #43 and #27 respectively.
  • His now classic folk song Characters…was among selections for the opening of the 375th Anniversary Concert in July 2003 as well as the closing ceremony in July 2004.
  • De Whole Day took Barbados by storm for Crop Over 2003 and finally brought Smokey acceptance from the calypso masses with live performances on the NCF’s Cavalcade and the TV show Good Morning Barbados!
  • 2004 was the year that he finally made the finals of the calypso competition, Pic O’ de Crop; with the self-penned and critically acclaimed hits, Why I Sing Calypso & Arthur Seat he placed a commendable 5th.
  • Xmas 2004 showed Smokey’s versatility in different genres as his cover of the tearjerker Xmas Shoes (done with his 8 year old daughter Keara) became a must-buy for most Barbadians.
  • In 2006, Smokey is now referred to by many as a shareholder in the Pic O’ De Crop competition as he again made finals, this time placing 7th. His two selections for this year, De Plantation Lingers On & Bring De Government Down, are referred to as classics.
  • Look out for his release of the retro-R&B song, Is There Another Love in Your Life during the latter part of 2006! This will be followed in early 2007 by a cricket anthem “Kensington”.
  • 2007 (later) – Another trip to Pic O’ de Crop Finals which resulted in a 5th place and 2 more hit calypsos: CAT-ASTROPHE & ALL POLITICIANS.
  • 2008 – On May 1st his biggest calypso hit ever was released. DUCK! One of the most popular songs for this season.
  • On the corporate side, Smokey is a respected and long standing member of the Board of COSCAP, the Copyright Society of Barbados.
  • He is also a music teacher in the primary schools of Barbados thru an arrangement with the National Cultural Foundation

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