Broadcasting provided the means for a young Charles Carter to be able to explore the entertainment scene in The Bahamas. It was a time when many Bahamians did not have a television in their homes and so they found creative ways to have fun. The Cat & Fiddle Friday matinee performances were a hot spot during his early twenties and, armed with only a tape recorder, Charles would capture the performances of the leading musicians, singers, and entertainers of that day. These recordings were the genesis of the Young Bahamians radio program in the 1950s.
During the nightclub era of the 60’s, Bahamian musicians created their own path for creative expression. It was during this time that Bahamian music gained popularity not just locally, but internationally as well, earning local musicians a steady income.
Bahamian music peaked in the 70s. Veteran musician, singer, mentor and teacher Duke Erroll Strachan recalls the era when the Bahamian music scene was booming. The Zanzibar, Silver Slipper, and The Cat and Fiddle were among the many entertainment clubs which made it easy for Bahamians and foreigners alike to pick, choose and refuse which venue they wished to patronize.
However, all of that began to change in the 90’s. Strachan believes that politics had much to do with entertainers’ success and decline, stating that the last nightclub to have anything to do with tourism was the King and Knights club which eventually closed down due to cruise ships.
Eyewitness News also spoke with original Baha Men member Fred Ferguson who shared his past successes and challenges as a musician in The Bahamas. He agrees that Bahamian politics played a major role in stagnating the industry.