Kade Joseph Simon, known as Lord Brynner, was born in Rancho Quemado Village in Palo Seco, Erin, Trinidad on July 3, 1937.
He is the Independence Calypso King of Trinidad and Tobago as he won the competition in commemoration of Trinidad and Tobago’s Independence from Britain in 1962 in an upset that left many shocked. Brynner was only 25 at the time and was contending against more experienced calypsonians such as the Mighty Sparrow and Nap Hepburn.
Brynner started to sing calypso after he moved from Erin, Trinidad to Carenage. He worked as a mason but finding work was not easy. One night, in 1958, he heard some neighorhood boys in Carenage singing calypso and they asked him if he could write a calypso for them. He did, and the rest, as we say, is history.
Brynner wrote and sung many hits throughout his career, such as Rich Man, Poor Man, though he never won another national calypso competition in Trinidad. That was not too much of a concern for him as he began to tour and sing internationally after only a few years in the business.
From the early 60s, Brynner traveled around the Caribbean, including in Jamaica where he lived for several years. He also traveled to Africa, including Kenya and Ghana. He toured in Europe and Asia, Canada and the US.
In fact, Brynner was perhaps the first person to bring a calypso show to Carnegie Hall in New York City.
During his musical career, he wrote hundreds of songs. And when he migrated to Jamaica in the 1970s, he began to experiment with ska, a precursor to reggae. On one of his ska recordings in 1964, Where Sammy Gone, he was backed by the Wailers, including Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh and Bob Marley.