The Mighty Grynner

MacDonald Blenman, also known as ‘The Mighty Grynner’ is one of the most famous calypsonians on the island of Barbados. This is due to the quality of his music and the years which he has dedicated to creating it. When one hears the name Mighty Grynner, images of him parading across a stage while performing his various melodies come to mind. For many years he has built a reputation for creating quality music that is also enjoyable. He is without a doubt one of the great talents of the island and this is seen by the many awards and prestigious prizes he has won throughout the years. There is no doubt that he is well accomplished in his field.

In 1968 at the young age of 22, Grynner entered his very first calypso competition. It was there at the Barbados Independence Show that he first showcased his talents for all to see and hear. The audience and judges were so taken in by this newcomer that he placed 3rd in the competition, though it was the very first time he had ever performed. This goes to show the strength of his music and the impact he had on audiences from the very birth of his career. He was truly a brilliant artist from the onset of his singing life!

He continued to make high-quality music throughout the years, bowling over audiences and leaving them with catchy tunes to sing along to. His song entitled ‘Mr. T,’ brought about a major success for him. In 1983 he won the Road March competition with the song. It was this trendy song that propelled him into the winner’s seat, the song addressed the then social happenings in the country at the time. Creating a song that was about a buzz topic was the perfect blend of creativity and opportunity. No wonder it caught the interest of the citizens the way it did.

This victory was just the first of many. He continued a string of wins as the years progressed. His popularity grew as well among the populace of the country and far beyond its shores. In 1984, just one year after his win, he won again with his song ‘Stinging Bees.’ Directly after that, he won yet again with his hit ‘More Grynner,’ winning for three consecutive years! He had really become a crowd favourite and his music was just as pleasing as it was high in quality. Victory continued to follow him, it did not stop there. Between the years of 1988 to 1990 he pulled off yet another hattrick winning three successive titles! He is the only calypsonian in the history of the island to do this!

As a tribute to his great contribution to the musical realm of the island, the Spring Garden Highway was renamed in his honour. Now called the ‘Mighty Grynner Highway,’ it stands as a sign of appreciation and respect for the time he served as an entertainer and performer. His music was instrumental to the development of calypso on the island and his name is now immortalized in history. This particular road was chosen as it is a strip where revellers travel while carousing in their crop over bands. The fact that he has won the most Road March titles makes it the perfect site to honour him. A trip to the highway will reveal a sign depicting his stage name.

The Mighty Grynner is a true calypsonian. For over forty years he has provided the country with the very best of his talents. His music though sometimes controversial has always been the epitome of excellence. He has always used music to emote strong messages, some filled with hilarity and others more serious in nature. His strong stage presence showed the audience that he was just not a voice but he had the ‘moves’ to back it up as well. He will forever be known as a musical genius within the corners of the island