“Rum and Coca-Cola” was first performed in front of a paying audience on the night of March 1 in Port of Spain at the Victory Calypso Tent - a calypso “tent” being in those days, as now, an informal concert hall set up for the pre-Lenten carnival season. The manager and factotum of the tent was a businessman named Mohamed H. Khan, originally from British Guiana. It was his first year in the calypso arena and he brought with him some new practices like dividing his seating area into different price categories - from 25¢ to 1$. Also, with so many foreigners (Khan stated under oath that there were two hundred U.S. soldiers in the audience on any given night) coming to the tent in 1943, he got an idea for a “Souvenir Collection” - a booklet which printed the lyrics to some of the songs. The booklet sold well - about 1500 copies - and started a trend which continues today. Neatly printed on page ten of the booklet were the words to “Rum and Coca-Cola.”
We gotta get that punch recipe.