REAL NAME: Lancelot Victor Edward Pinard
DATE OF BIRTH: March 24, 1902
PLACE OF BIRTH: Cumuto, Trinidad
EDUCATION: (later)
CAREER:                                   Growing up in Trinidad, Pinard wanted to be a pharmacist and was sent by his family to New York, USA, to pursue a medical career but gave this up to study music and singing after attending a concert by the African-American tenor Roland Hayes. Soon after, Lancelot began performing in the late 1930s as a classical singer and included calypsoes in his appearances. After becoming a full-time calypsonian, Lancelot teamed up with Trinidadian bandleader Gerald Clark to record some calypsoes and began singing at the Village Vanguard nightclub in New York in 1940. He went on to have great success in the 1940s performing at concerts in a tuxedo which became his trademark. In 1941, Sir Lancelot toured California and Oregon with Lionel Belasco. In the 1940s, Sir Lancelot made numerous records with Apollo Records and sang in commercials. He was a well-known pacifist and, in 1944, Columbia Pictures made the animated short film, "The Disillusioned Bluebird," which included Sir Lancelot's calypso-singing character.

                              During the 1940s, he returned to Trinidad where calypso-singing was still not considered a revered profession and he was shunned by his family. As a result of this experience, he wrote the calypso "Shame and Scandal" which was later recorded by Lord Melody. His calypsoes included: Shame and Scandal; The British Grenadiers; Defenders of Stalingrad; Walk in Peace; Common Man.

Pinard's acting career included appearances in the following films:

  • 1942 - Two Yanks in Trinidad [Singer]
  • 1943 - I Walked with a Zombie [Character: Calypso Singer]
  • 1943 - Happy Go Lucky [Character: Calypso Singer]
  • 1943 - The Ghost Ship
  • 1944 - The Curse of the Cat People [Character: Edward, a butler and cook]
  • 1944 - To Have and Have Not
  • 1945 - Zombies on Broadway
  • 1947 - Brute Force
  • 1948 - Romance on the High Seas
  • 1958 - The Buccaneer

In addition to his movie appearances, Pinard composed a score for the 1948 movie "Tarzan and the Mermaids" and appeared in an episode of the The Andy Griffith Show in 1967.

He became a US citizen in 1960 but remained very popular in Europe into the late-1960s. He recorded several "gospel calypso" songs from the 1960s to the early 1970s and performed and recorded with Trinidadian Steven Springer, the Arizona-based band Sanctuary, and his nephew Brian Pinard, recording his last album under the name "Knights of the Holy Trinity." His last recording was "Pinardhymns - Religious Calypso."

DIED: March 12, 2001, in Anaheim, California, USA, from natural causes
Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit