Irving Burgie, the writer of the lyrics of the National Anthem, passed away last night in NY.
Irving Burgie, a singer and songwriter who penned lyrics for the classic tune, "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)", which was made famous by Harry Belafonte, has died, his son said.
He was best known as the man who helped Belafonte introduce calypso music to the mainstream.
When a superstar list of music royalty gathered to film the We Are the World video in 1985, most burst into a playful version of Day-O in between takes.
Musician Harry Belafonte, seen here performing on CBC in 1974, recorded many of Burgie's songs for Belafonte's 1956 top-selling album Calypso.
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Mr Burgie wrote eight of the 11 songs on Harry Belafonte's 1956 album Calypso, which was the first album in the U.S. to sell more than a million copies. He and lyricist William Attaway rewrote the song, which went on to become a global hit - clocking 31 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard singles chart - that has been revived many times over the years, from a concert shout-out by The Kinks to a comic scene in the 1989 film "Beetlejuice". Others who have sung his songs include Mantovani, Miriam Makeba and Julio Iglesias.
During yesterday's 53rd Independence Day celebrations at Kensington Oval, Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley announced that the singer and songwriter had passed in his sleep Friday night.
According to research, Burgie, stage name "Lord Burgess", was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Barbadian mother and a Virginia-born father, and in 1943, Burgie was drafted into the U.S. Army and served for three years in the China, Burma, and India Theaters.
He became a folk singer using the stage name "Lord Burgess" and performed on the circuit between NY and Chicago, making his NY nightclub debut at the Village Vanguard in 1954.