Irving Burgie Biography, Wiki
Irving Louis Burgie was known as Lord Burgess. He was an American musician and songwriter, regarded as “one of the greatest composers of Caribbean music”. He composed 34 songs for Harry Belafonte, including eight of the 11 songs on the Belafonte album Calypso (1956), the first album of any kind to sell one million copies. Burgie also wrote the lyrics of the National Anthem of Barbados. To date, songs penned by Irving Burgie have sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.
Irving Burgie: Songwriter of calypso hit Day-O dies aged 95. What a legend. I learnt ‘Day-O’ while attending my SDA church-based, Jamaican run primary school in Brixton. A classic. Rest easy, king. 👑 https://t.co/TBCWOfcK8o
— Nadine White (@Nadine_Writes) December 1, 2019
He was 95 years old.
Burgie was born in Brooklyn, New York.
His mother was from Barbados and his father was from Virginia.
He joined the US Army in World War II, and served in Burma, China and India, where he started playing guitar and singing. After the war, he studied at the Juilliard School, and met Harry Belafonte in 1950. Using the name Lord Burgess, he began singing and playing guitar in New York City clubs, developing a repertoire based around songs from the Caribbean he had learnt as a child or collected in visits to the area.
After acting as Lord Burgess in Village Vanguard in 1954, and releasing an album, Calypso Serenaders of Lord Burgess (also known as Folk Songs of Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad) on Stinson Records, a mutual friend, William Attaway, suggested that Burgie wrote songs for Belafonte Burgie and Attaway wrote a lyrics version of “Banana Boat Song” for Colgate Comedy Hour, and Belafonte recorded it for RCA Victor. This is the recording that is by far the best known for listeners today, as it reached number five on the Billboard charts in 1957 and then became its main song.
Burgie and Attaway composed eight of the songs on the Calypso album by Belafonte in 1956, including “Day-O” and “Jamaica Farewell.” “Day-O” was a traditional Jamaican song that was sung by dock workers who worked all night carrying bananas on boats. The Belafonte version uses lyrics adapted by Burgie and Attaway, although Belafonte is also accredited. Later, Burgie described “Day-O” as “a song about the fight, about blacks in a colonized life doing the most exhausting job,” and said that “much of my work is based on songs and songs I’ve heard. In the Caribbean “. The song “Jamaica Farewell” was later recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Carly Simon and others.
Belafonte recorded other songs written by Burgie, including “Island in the Sun,” one of Burgie’s ten compositions on her 1957 album Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean. Burgie also wrote eight of the twelve tracks on her 1961 album Jump Up Calypso, and also wrote “Can’t Cross Over,” and co-wrote “Goin ‘Down Jordan,” on the 1977 Belafonte album Turn the World Around. .
Burgie created his own publishing house. In the late 1950s he was able to live comfortably from the royalties he received, and in 1960 he funded a magazine in Harlem, The Urbanite. It also helped finance civil rights activists. He wrote the music and lyrics of the musical ballad off Broadway in 1963 for Bimshire and also co-wrote the book with Loften Mitchell. The show opened at the Mayfair Theater on October 15 and had 74 presentations. Burgie also wrote the lyrics of the national anthem of Barbados, “In Plenty and In Time of Need,” adopted in 1966 at the time of the island’s independence.
Burgie acted rarely after her initial success, but appeared in the early 1980s in places like Gerde’s Folk City. In 1996, the album Island in the Sun: The Songs of Irving Burgie was released, followed by The Father of Modern Calypso in 2003. 
He was included in the Composers Hall of Fame in 2007. His life story was recorded in the book Day-O !!! The autobiography of Irving Burgie (2007). [Appointment required]
Burgie died on November 29, 2019, at the age of 95, of heart failure, at his home in Queens.  His death was announced by the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Amor Mottley, at the Nation’s Independence Day Parade.
Lord Burgess’ Calypso Serenaders – Folk Songs of Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad (Stinson SLP 62, 1954)
Ballad For Bimshire. A New Musical of Barbados (London AM 48002, 1963)
Lord Burgess and his Sun Islanders – Calypso Go Go (Buddah BDS 5005, 1967)
Lord Burgess Rides Again (Cherry Lane CLR-1-1984, 1984)
Island in the Sun: The Songs of Irving Burgie (Angel 52222, 1996)
The Father Of Modern Calypso (VLT-15170, 2003)
Irving Burgie Death and Cause
Irving Burgie, a songwriter whose adaptation of the traditional Jamaican folk song “Day-O” became one of the definitive calypso songs of the 20th century, died on Friday. He was 95. https://t.co/wksBNXqdLf
— NPR (@NPR) December 1, 2019