He remixed and produced numerous disco versions of popular songs, with a number of them being million sellers. His most successful and best known production was Alicia Bridges' I Love the Nightlife, which has become a "Disco standard". First released in 1978, it went to number five on the Billboard charts, and was given a new lease of life with its use in the 1994 film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Other extremely successful productions include:
Early yearsBurgess was born on July 21, 1952 in Okeechobee, Florida. He trained as a classical tenor and opera singer, and had "an amazing ear". He started as a DJ in Florida in the early-mid 1970s and then "moved on to Limelight, a gay club in Atlanta" where he was "discovered" by Tony Martino and Alan Harris, the owners of the New York club 12 West.
New YorkHe moved to New York where he played at "all the hottest clubs like 12 West, Infinity, the Saint, Underground, Studio 54, Paradise Garage, as well as playing the Ice Palace in Fire Island".
Burgess had been one of the initial three resident DJs at the Saint along with Alan Dodd and Roy Thode, from its opening on 20 September 1980.
Burgess's popularity was attributed not only to his style and technique, but a love for theatrical effects and elements, which developed from his love of opera. He would frequently create his own "sound scenes" by using the dialogue from well-known film scenes over the break of a record - as well as attentuating the effect through long mixes and sophisticated blending.
Burgess chose to end his career at age 28 with a farewell party at the Saint on 31 January 1981. During the party, he famously walked out at the peak of the night and let the record run out. Afterwards Sharon White took over for the rest of the evening. Nevertheless, he still did subsequent infrequent gigs in New York, and started playing regularly at the Saint again in 1986. His actual last gig according to his partner was at The Ice Palace in 1989.
PhiladelphiaAfter commuting back and forth from NY to Philly, in 1987 he made the move to Philadelphia to pursue his first ambition, opera singing.
In Philadelphia he studied voice at the Curtis Institute of Music. He sang with the Opera Company of Philadelphia and the Rittenhouse Opera Society, and appeared as Florestan in Beethoven's "Fidelio" at the Lake George Opera Festival in New York and as Siegfried and Parsifal with the Liederkranz Society of New York, which awarded him first prize in its Wagner Competition.
Although he was never diagnosed with AIDS, he took ill soon after Labor Day in 1992. It was then that he was informed of his HIV status. His illness progressed very quickly and he died of an AIDS related brain tumor four months after taking ill, on 18 January 1993 at his home in Philadelphia. He was survived by his partner, Martin Dillon, his sister, Dawn Krop of Gainesville, Fl, and his brother, Jonathan, of Asheville, N.C.
RemixesSome of the more notable singles that Burgess was involved in the remixing and/or production of are:
|"I love the nightlife"||Alicia Bridges||Polydor||1978|
|"Da ya think I'm sexy"||Rod Stewart||1978|
|"I Was Made for Lovin' You"||KISS||Casablanca||1979|
|"Here comes that sound again"||Love De-Luxe||1979|
|"the Beat goes on and on"||Ripple||Canadian Unidisc|
|"What a fool believes" (12" Disco mix)||The Doobie Brothers||Warner Bros||1979|
|"Rough Diamond"||Madleen Kane||Warner Bros||1978|
|"Forbidden Love"||Madleen Kane||Warner Bros||1979|
|"Night rider"||Venus Dodson|
|"I've got the next dance"||Deniece Williams||Columbia||1979|
|"If there's love"||Amant|
|"Crazy love"||Alton McClain & Destiny||Polydor||1979|
|"Lotta love"||Nicolette Larson||Warner Bros||1979|
|"Don't stop the train"||Phyliss Nelson|
|"Runaway Love"||Linda Clifford||Curtom||1978|
|"A lover's holiday"||Change||Warner Bros||1980|
|"No goodbyes"||Curtis Mayfield||Curtom||1978|
|"Party party"||Curtis Mayfield||Curtom||1978|
|"Try love"||Tony Wilson||US Bearsville||1979|
|"Bring on the boys"||Karen Young||1978|