The Caribbean Tourism Organization is saluting Barbados-born songwriter Irving Burgie and renowned Caribbean singer, actor
and humanitarian Harry Belafonte on the recognition by the Sunshine Awards and
Cherry Lane Music Publishing Company for naming Day-O the “Song of the Century” in
celebration of the 50th anniversary of its release.“We congratulate Irving Burgie and Harry Belafonte on this honor by the Sunshine
Awards,” said Hugh Riley, CTO’s director of marketing for the Americas. “Day-O and
Mr. Belafonte’s record album ‘Calypso’ brought worldwide attention to the music and
culture of the Caribbean which helped all genres of Caribbean music over the past 50
years,” Riley added.
Mr. Belafonte was previously honored in 1998 by the Caribbean Tourism Organization
with its “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his contribution to Caribbean culture in
recognition of his acting, singing and humanitarian efforts.
Mr. Burgie and Mr. Belafonte will be recognized at the black-tie 18th Annual
Sunshine Awards which will take place beginning at 4 p.m. on Oct. 29, 2006 at the
Sheraton New York Hotel in Manhattan. A number of world renowned artists, including
the Calypso King of the World, the Mighty Sparrow, the Signal Hill Alumni Choir of
Trinidad and Tobago, the Jamaica National Dance Theatre Company, and the Barbados
Dance Theatre will be performing.
Day-O was first released and made popular by Mr. Belafonte on his 1956 album
“Calypso,” which became the first album in the United States to sell one million
copies. The album held the number one spot on the Billboard charts for 32
consecutive weeks, and remained on the charts for 99 consecutive weeks.
Since its release, Day-O has been recorded by many world renowned performing
artists, featured on the “We are the World” telecast, and used by NASA as the
wake-up call for the astronauts aboard the space shuttle Atlantis.
In addition to Day-O, Mr. Burgie’s catalogue of songs includes other popular
Caribbean folksongs such as Jamaica Farewell, Island in the Sun, Yellow Bird, and
Angelina to name a few. Mr. Burgie is also the author of the National Anthem of
Barbados, the birthplace of his mother.