Exile One

Exile One
Origin Dominica, West Indies
Genres Kadans
World music
Years active Early 70's – present
Members Gordon Henderson
Vivian Wallace
Fitzroy Williams
Julie Mourillon

Exile One is a cadence musical group of the 1970s from Dominica based in Guadeloupe that was influential in the development of Caribbean music.[1][2]


In 1969, Gordon Henderson (the "creole father of soul" and "Godfather of Cadence-lypso") decided that the French Overseas Department of Guadeloupe had everything he needed to begin a career in Creole music. From there, lead singer Gordon Henderson went on to found a kadans fusion band, the Vikings of Guadeloupe – of which Kassav' co-founder Pierre-Eduard Decimus was a member. At some point he felt that he should start his own group and asked a former school friend Fitzroy Williams to recruit a few Dominicans to complete those he had already selected.[3] The group was named Exile One. During the early 1970s, they initiated a fusion of cadence and calypso "Cadence-lypso" that would later influence the creation of soca music.[4]

The full-horn section kadans band Exile One led by Gordon Henderson introduced the newly arrived synthesizers to their music that other young cadence or compas bands from Dominica, Haiti (mini-jazz) and the French Antilles emulated in the 1970s.[5] In the early 1980s, Lead guitarist Julie Mourillon of Exile One formed a new group called Roots of Exile. Together, they launched a new beat dubbed "Island Boogie", a fusion of cadence-lypso and North American funk and soul music and toured Africa and Europe.[6]

Exile One and Grammacks were two influential figures in the promotion of cadence-lypso in the 1970s. They were inspirational for Kassav and the emergence of zouk in the 1980s.[7] Exile One was the first kadans band to sign a production contract with a major label called Barclay Records.[8] The first to export kadans music to the four corners of the globe: Japan, the Indian Ocean, Africa, North America, Europe and The Cape Verde islands.[9]

Gordon Henderson

Gordon Henderson was born in Roseau, Dominica, grew up in the town of Portsmouth and received his secondary education at the St. Mary’s Academy in Roseau, where he joined the “glee club” and participated in talent shows, activities which encouraged the pursuit of a career in music.

Gordon Henderson musical career began with short stints with various teenage bands performing at talent shows and dances around the Island. In the late sixties he formed his own quartet called “Voltage Four” patterned on American group “Booker T and the MGs” or the “Meters”, and mainly toured the French Islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. In 1970, Henderson moved to Guadeloupe to become the lead singer of “Les Vikings” of Guadeloupe, a group which toured the French Departments of Guiana, Martinique, St. Martin and Metropolitan France. He wrote and recorded a song titled “Love” with the Vikings which became a huge hit across the Caribbean and particularly in Suriname and later the Netherlands.[10]

Gordon Henderson is the leader and founder of the famous musical group Exile One and the one who coined the name Cadence-lypso. The group became known for having created Cadence-lypso defined by Henderson as “a synthesis of Caribbean rhythmic patterns...” The music combined Haitian cadence and the Anglo-calypso music with Creole in a manner that Haitians as well as Jamaicans could identify. Cadence-lypso revolutionized Caribbean music while Gordon Henderson’s Exile One visited every Caribbean country on a regular basis to perform. Record licenses existed in Jamaica, Barbados, Columbia, and Japan among other places. The group became a household name in several African countries and the islands of the Indian Ocean.

In 1975, Exile One became the first Creole act to sign a major recording contract with the French label Barclay, today a part of Universal. Exile One would go on to sell gold records. Gordon Henderson went on to produce other artists including, Ophelia, a fellow Dominican who is known as the Creole lady of song. He also took time off to study the French language and researched Creole culture. In forty years, Gordon Henderson and Exile One has worked with scores of different musicians.

In the 1980s he got involved in creating Tropic FM in Paris, France, a radio station now known as Media Tropical targeting the Caribbean Diaspora in France. He produced and hosted a TV show called “Feel the World Beat” that was broadcast on selected PBS stations in the US and the RFO-SAT network. Henderson spearheaded the creation of an annual international music event in Dominica, The World Creole Music Festival, featuring the best performers of Creole music.

As a songwriter a Brazilian version of Gordon Henderson composition titled "Jamais voir ça" sold over 2.5 million copies recorded by Carlos Santos with the title "Quero Voce".In addition Gordon Henderson has been the recipient of numerous gold records for sales over 100,000 in France.

Henderson has received numerous awards at home an abroad among which the AFRICAR MUSIC AWARDS in the Ivory Coast, the Golden Drum, the National Meritorious award, Lime Lifetime Achievement, The DFC lifetime achievement (twice), The CIAO award Washington, among others.

Among his other credits is author of a book titled Zoukland, and producer and performer of over 30 long-playing recording projects. Publications references include: The Pop Music of a Continent (African All Stars) by Chris Stapleton and Chris May; Zouk: World Music in the West Indies by Jocelyne Guilbault (University Chicago Press); and World Music/The Rough Guide by The Penguin Group.


The original members of Exile One.


  1. Funkyorgan. Cadence Lypso and the organ. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  2. Bloomsburry Encyclopedia Popular music of the world. Exile One and Cadence-lypso. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  3. Caribbean and Latin America. Exile One and Cadence-lypso. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  4. Jocelyne Guilbault. Zouk: world music in the West Indies. Retrieved April 10, 2012.
  5. Caribbean and Latin America. Introduction of digital technology. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  6. cdbaby. JulieMourillon. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  7. Neva Wartell. "Zouk - Tracing the History of the Music to its Dominican Roots". The Dominican. Reprinted from National Geographic. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  8. Funkyorgan. Cadence Lypso and the organ. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  9. Funkyorgan. Cadence Lypso and the organ. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
  10. Exile One and Cadence-lypso. Retrieved August 10, 2010.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/22/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.