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Louise Bennett

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Louise Bennett, also sometimes known popularly in her native Jamaica as "Miss Lou," or more formally as the Honorable Louise Simone Bennett-Coverly, is one of the most beloved folkorists, authors, and singers ever to come from Jamaica. Born in 1919, she was educated at the Ebenezer and Calabar Elementary Schools, St. Simon's College, Excelsior College, and Friends College (Highgate). Her first book date from the early '40s was devoted to poetry -- including Humorous Verses in Jamaican Dialect -- and she was a resident artist in 1945-1946 with the "Caribbean Carnival." After World War II, her writing started to get wider distribution, and she began performing and lecturing about Jamaican culture and Jamaican music, in her homeland and subsequently in England and the United States, and her activities were further enhanced when she began recording for Folkways Records in the early '50s. Bennett was also featured on a show on the BBC and later had a program running for five years on station ZQI in Kingston. In later years her writing was more involved with poetry than music, although she kept her hand in the latter well into the 1970s and is one of the very few performing artists in the world who has recorded for both Folkways Records and Island Records. ~ Bruce Eder

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1919 in Jamaica

Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Influenced by This Artist