It has been claimed that Belasco was the first musician to popularize West Indian music for a significant audience outside the English-speaking Caribbean. The child of a Sephardic Jew and a Trinidadian Creole, pianist and vocalist Belasco made his first recording in Trinidad in 1914. Between 1914 and 1945, he made at least 278 recordings under his own name -- more than any other West Indian bandleader did. He was one of the artists responsible for the hybrid of styles -- taken from disparate sources including European classical music, waltzes, jazz, pop, and African and Caribbean folk music -- that became known as calypso. Belasco was a well-traveled man -- in the West Indies, South America, and New York City -- for his time, experience which probably contributed to the potpourri of influences that can be detected in his music.