OK, more 60's: Walden Robert Perciville Cassotto took his artistic name from his childhood nickname and from a malfunctioning Chinese restaurant sign (!). Sammy Davis Jr. called him "the only person I ever wanted to follow". In '69 he sold all his possessions and lived in seclusion in a trailer near Big Sur, CA. There he wrote this seminal "protest" song which changed his career. He established Direction Records, grew a moustache (he just wanted to look like me!), stopped wearing a toupee and basically re-invented himself. Artist? Song?
Yesterday's answer: "Jamaica Farewell" by Harry Belafonte. Many believe that the song is called "Kingston Town". Irving Burgie ("Lord Burgess") was a Brooklynite - his mother was from Barbados and his father from Virginia.