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RIP Irving Burgie

Brooklyn, N.Y.–Irving Burgie, a singer, composer and lyricist whose songs were immortalized by Harry Belafonte during the calypso craze of the 1950s, died here Friday. He was 95.

Known professionally as Lord Burgess, Burgie was at his height in 1956 when he wrote eight of the 11 tracks on Belafonte’s celebrated album “Calypso.” One of the biggest hits from the album was “Day-O” (“The Banana Boat Song”), based on a Jamaican folk song. Burgie and William Attaway wrote the lyrics for the version sung by Belafonte.

MSTies may remember that Tom Servo sang the song during a host segment in episode K13- SST DEATH FLIGHT, while Joel Crow and Gypsy played limbo.

The New York Times has the story.

Thanks to Tim for the heads up.

5 Replies to “RIP Irving Burgie”

  1. And okay, somebody’s got to be the first to post it:


  2. Terry the Sensitive Knight says:




  3. radioman970 says:

    oh if I had to pay royalties every time I strolled around the house DAY-OHing!! I’d be poor. Oh, I am poor. But I’d be loading bananas poor.


  4. jay says:

    Many years ago my brother invited his friend Ed who was a wheel in the Austin music business to go fishing in the Gulf with me on my boat. We were many miles from land and NOT catching fish when my local fishing buddy Roy, a good guy but not a socially sophisticate, said to Ed “I guess you like Caribbean music, eh?”. Ed is a 6’4” mixed race guy with a major Afro (at the time). I started looking for a place to hide, but Ed simply looked up and started belting out a basso profundo rendition of the Banana Boat song. Afterward with only the sound of the waves passing under the boat Ed said, “Yeah. I like calypso”.


  5. jay says:

    RIP Mr. Burgie.


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