Songwriter Irving Burgie Steps Into The Spotlight With New Au..
Songwriter Irving Burgie steps into the spotlight with new autobiography http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2007/11/27/2007-11-27_s...
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Songwriter Irving Burgie steps into the Discuss Print Email
spotlight with new autobiography Digg Del.icio.us Newsvine
BY LAUREN DARSON Reddit Furl Stumble
Tuesday, November 27th 2007, 4:00 AM
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Hall of Fame songwriter Irving Burgie in front of his
quot;It was a terrific smash and it is still a photo wall at his St. Albans home. The wall is a
popular song today,quot; said Burgie, collection of photos of people he has worked with
noting that quot;Day-Oquot; is played as a and met over the last 50 years.
wakeup call to astronauts in outer
space. quot;Generations of people are familiar with my music.quot;
Burgie, who was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this year, also wrote the
theme song for the 1957 film quot;Island in the Sun,quot; which starred Belafonte. His name
also is on the celebrity path in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. He has written 34
published songs and has sold over 100 million records.
The story of his life, published this year, is called quot;Day-O!!!, The Autobiography of
Irving Burgie,quot; (Xlibris, $22). It chronicles Burgie's life from his birth in
Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, in 1924. His mother was from Barbados and he grew
up surrounded by calypso and Caribbean influences. Later, after serving in World
War II, Burgie attended the Juilliard School of Music, then decided to dedicate his
time to studying and researching Caribbean culture and introduce it to American
society through song.
quot;The average person didn't know about the Caribbean sound and I awakened the
public at large. These songs introduced a whole new genre of music to the world,quot;
Burgie's songs have become the international paradigm of calypso music, making
him a superstar in the Caribbean.
In 1966, Burgie was asked to compose a national anthem for Barbados after the
country gained its independence from England - a task that might have seemed
arduous, since he had never lived there, but it only took Burgie a couple of weeks.
quot;It wasn't too difficult, because at the time I was involved in the civil rights movement
in America and many of the same elements were involved in Barbados gaining
independence,quot; said Burgie.
Burgie said civil rights movements around the world like those in India, North
America and the Caribbean were his inspiration for the Barbados national anthem, Get the latest Updates.
and that the symbols relating to any oppressed people are universal.
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Burgie has spent the past 52 years living in St. Albans, most of them with his wife of
47 years, Paige Turner, who died two years ago. They have two children - Irving Jr.,
50, and Andrew, 42.
quot;I enjoy living in Queens. It is the greatest town in the world,quot; said Burgie. quot;I traveled
all over the world and New York is it.quot;
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