Monday, June 24, 2024

Irving Burgie, Author of Harry Belafonte’s “Day O,” Father of Modern Calypso Music, Dies at Age 95


I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Irving Burgie twice this year. He died today at age 95.

“Day O,” the song he wrote and made popular by Harry Belafonte, is featured in a memorable scene in “Beetlejuice” on Broadway. Irving came to the 1st performance, and to the opening night. He loved the show, and lapped up the kudos from well wishers. I was also on the nominating committee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame when he was inducted several years ago, and he remembered me from then, too.

What a life! And what legacy! Day O must be responsible for a long life. Belafonte, a worldwide treasure, is 92 himself!

Rest in peace, Irving! Daylight come and it’s time to go home indeed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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