Irving Burgie, songwriter of ‘Day-O’ passes away at age 95 (Top 5 List)

Renowned song-writer, Irving Burgie, died on Friday November 29th at the age of ninety-five (confirmed by his son, Andrew Burgie). Irving was an icon who preserved Caribbean culture and traditions on a diaspora scale through the various songs he wrote, especially for fellow icon, Harry Belafonte. Here are five little known details about the song-writer’s musical journey.

Irving Burgie Top 5:

  1. Irving Burgie was a renowned songwriter with roots in Barbados. He wrote the lyrics to the classic calypso “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” which was made famous by Harry Belafonte and also featured in the pop-classic ‘Beetle Juice.’
  2. Burgie wrote roughly 35 songs for Harry Belafonte including eight songs for his 1956 album entitled, ‘Calypso.’ That was the first album to sell over a million copies in the United States *
  3. He wrote the national anthem for the island of Barbados when it achieved independence on November 30th 1966.
  4. Among many other features, the Day-O song was also used ‘as the wake-up call for astronauts on the Space Shuttle Atlantis in space in 1997, according to the Songerwriters Hall of Fame. ‘*
  5. Burgie began taking his music seriously after he returned from serving in an all-black U.S. Army battalion during World War II.

Thank you for your contribution to the preservation of culture Mr. Burgie. It has not gone unnoticed and is very much appreciated.

Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/01/entertainment/irving-burgie-banana-boat-day-o/index.html

https://www.songhall.org/profile/Irving_Burgie

 

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MISSION: To elevate the brand of Caribbean culture in the fields of MUSIC, BUSINESS and the ARTS by celebrating the work of cultural ambassadors while advocating for upcoming Caribbean talent1.

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