DJ Jim Burgess
Remembering Jim Burgess> July 21,1953– January 18,1993>
James Michael “Jim” Burgess (July 21,1953– January 18,1993) was a disco record mixer and New York DJ of the 1970s, and has been commonly referred to as one of the hottest DJ’s and Remixers of the Disco era.
Jim Burgess remixed numerous disco versions of popular songs, with a number of them being million sellers. Some of the more notable singles that Burgess was involved in the remixing and/or production of were:
“I Love the Nightlife” Alicia Bridges- Polydor 1978
“Da Ya Think I’m Sexy”-Rod Stewart Warner Bros. 1978
“Here Comes That Sound Again”- Love De-Luxe Warner Bros.1979
“What a Fool Believes” (12″ Disco miix)- Doobie Brothers Warner Bros 79
“Rough Diamond”- Madleen Kane Warner Bros. 1978
“Forbidden Love”- Madleen Kane Warner Bros. 1979
“Night Rider” Venus Dodson RFC/Warner
“I’ve Got the Next Dance” -Deniece Williams Columbia 1979
“If There’s Love” Amant -TK Records
“Crazy Love”- Alton McClain & Destiny Polydor 1979
“Lotta Love”- Nicolette Larson Warner Bros. 1979
“Runaway Love”- Linda Clifford Curtom 1978
“A Lover’s Holiday”- Change RFC/Warner 1980
“Victim” Candi Staton -Warner Bros.1978
Burgess was born on July 21, 1953 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 very popular New York club, 12 West.
He 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’s huge 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 in New York City on 31 January 1981. During the party, he famously walked out at the peak of the night and let the record run out. Afterwards DJ 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 reported actual last gig according to his partner was at the Ice Palace Fire Island 1989.
By Ray Caviano