PANAMA: Singing the News

In a plush Panama City cocktail lounge the chitchat hushed as a scrawny 21-year-old singer stepped up, caught the beat from a guitar and chanted mournfully:

I read de news, I am so puzzled, I am confused About an ex-pilot and now celebrity Whose name is Gerry Lester Murphy.

Rupert ("Kontiki") Allen, Panama's calypso king, went on to give his customers a rhymed rundown on the latest theories about Pilot Murphy's mysterious disappearance in the Dominican Republic (TIME, Feb. 25). Kontiki was staying on top of his profession last week by wryly relating the vagaries and outrages of Caribbean power politics.

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