Lancelot Victor Pinard, a musician who played a significant role in bringing calypso music to American audiences back in the 1940s, died March 12 of natural causes in Anaheim, Calif. He was 98.
Pinard, who went by the professional name of Sir Lancelot, performed in Southern California during the ’40s playing such hits as “Rum and Coca Cola” and “Take Me, Take Me.”
A native of Cumuto, Trinidad, to wealthy parents, he came to New York City to pursue a medical career but switched to music after hearing tenor Roland Hayes.
Pinard’s calypso debut came in 1940 in New York. A West Coast tour brought him to the Wilshire Ebell in Los Angeles, where his music was embraced. A studio contract followed, and he first appeared in the feature “Two Yanks in Trinidad” (1941).
He went on to appear in about 14 films including “To Have and Have Not,” “Happy Go Lucky,” “The Curse of the Cat People” and “Brute Force.”
Until the mid-1960s, Pinard toured most of the globe and was a crowd favorite in Europe.
He is survived by three daughters, eight grandchildren and nine younger brothers and sisters.