Friday, October 20, 2006

‘Day-O’ Composer Gets Day-O In The Sun

NEW YORK (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Harry Belafonte is the guy who sang “Day-O” but the man who wrote the tune is getting his day in the sun.

On October 29, composer Irving Burgie will be given the “Song Of The Century Award” during the 18th Annual Sunshine Awards, which honor the best in Caribbean music, art, dance and poetry.

Besides “Day-O,” Burgie has also written standards like “Jamaica Farewell” and “Island In The Sun” as well as the National Anthem for Barbados, the homeland of his mother.

But while his tunes remind people of the Caribbean, Burgie is actually a native of Brooklyn, New York. He admits if he had been from the West Indies, “no one would have ever heard this music.”

As he puts it, “[Popularizing calypso] took someone who knew the culture but could look at it in a sophisticated way.”

Although Burgie believes the honor represents a career peak, he’s especially thrilled that organizers are establishing a $25,000 scholarship in his name for budding African-American songwriters.

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