- Merlin Gill
Infobox musical artist
Name = Merlin Gill
Background = solo_singer
Alias = Mutt
Genre = Steelband
Years_active = 1961 – 2004
Associated_acts = Sforzata Steel Orchestra
URL = [http://www.gillspanshop.com/ gillspanshop.com]
Merlin “Mutt” Gill began his musical career at the age of nine, beating pan under his house in
Curepe. He started on the "Grundig", a bass pan with one big note in the middle surrounded by five smaller notes. Eventually, Gill and his friends formed the "Golden Dukes" in 1961, but this band only lasted for three years. He went on to play with several bands in Port of Spainsuch as "City Smphony", "Amboys", "Starlift" and "Silver Stars". In those days, being from the “country” and a good player, left him open to many of the petty jealousies and parochial animosities of the "town” men. Gill began his arranging career with the "Enchanted Angels" and the "Crest Merry Boys". However, it is with the Curepe "Scherzando" Steel Orchestra that Gill found the musical stability and success which he craved. As he sought to improve his theoretical knowledge of music, Merlin flexed his creative muscles with his arrangements for this band which he had christened. In 1974, Scherzando created a stir in the National Panorama Competition with their performance of Gill’s arrangement of a Shadow song called “I Come Out To Play." The band placed first in the Semifinals and were considered favorites to win. This success was groundbreaking and pioneering because Scherzando was the first unsponsored band to place so well in the competition, in addition to being a country band from the East who were novices in this national forum. Unfortunately, on the night of Finals, the band suffered a serious defeat and were unable to repeat their previous performance because of a faulty drumset. However, all would agree that "I Come Out To Play” is undoubtedly one of the most memorable Panorama performances.
The following year in 1975, Gill again caused a stir in the Savannah with his arrangement of Maestro’s “Tempo”, placing first in the Panorama preliminaries. The young Gill decided to have his players’ voices play a pivotal role in this arrangement. Unfortunately, the judges did not take kindly to this innovation. The band failed to make it past the Semifinals. However, the country was beginning to sit up and take notice of Gill and this band from the East. But even this success could not mend the chasm that lay within the band’s foundation and Gill was forced to move on.
In that same year, Gill and his friends founded The Sforzata Steel Orchestra.
* 1972...Hot pants (Kitch)
* 1973...Steel and brass (Wellington)
* 1974...I come out to play (Shadow)
* 1975...Tempo (Maestro)
* 1976...Shift Ya Kakas (Shadow)
* 1977...Junior carnival queen; (Kitch)
* 1978....pan in 21st century; (Kitch)
* 1979...ah tell she; (Poser)
* 1980...carnival coming; (Kitch)
* 1981...Soca jean; (Kitch)
* 1982...a shadow???;
* 1983....Superman; (Blue Boy)
* 1984...lucy; (Blue Boy)
* 1987....Curry tabanca; (Trini)
* 1989...Fire down below;
* 1990...I Tell She (Iwer)
* 1997....Guitar pan; (Kitch)
* 1998....Still the best; (Trini)
* 2004...War. (Deforsto)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.