Soul And / Or Related Artists
leroy burgess

Leroy Burgess

b. Leroy O'Niel Jackson Jr., New York, New York State, U.S.A.

Leroy Burgess is an unusual artist in as much as he shuns the limelight and concentrates on what he does best. Making people dance.

He has had so many, 'proverbial fingers', in so many musical pies that it is, almost, the job of a detective, keeping a track of his recording career.

Leroy Burgess' first taste of fame was as the lead singer of '70s soul vocal trio Black Ivory.

He co-wrote the teenaged group's highest charting single, 'You and I,' and their dance classic 'Mainline.'

Leroy was an important part of the '80's dance scene, recording with Aleem, Inner Life, Fonda Rae, Intrigue, and he released a huge number of records under various ficticious names (Logg, Convertion, Calebur).

Leroy has taken on a 'cult' status amongst discerning dancefloor punters.

In late 1968, Burgess, Stuart Biscombe, and Russell Patterson started out as the Mellow Sounds, performing around New York City.

Patrick Adams, leader of a group called the Sparks, discovered the trio and took them to New York based Today Records.

Their first single, the Adams' ballad 'Don't Turn Around,' went to number 38 R & B on Billboard's R & B chart in late 1971.

Two more ballads charted, 'You and I' (written by Burgess and Biscombe) b/w 'Our Future' and 'I'll Find a Way' (Adams / Burgess / Biscombe / Patterson) b / w 'Surrender.'

Their first three singles and a Burgess song, 'If I Could Be a Mirror' were included on the 'Don't Turn Around' LP, issued February 1972.

They had two more charting singles on Today.

'Time Is Love' b / w a cover of Michael Jackson's 'Got to Be There' and 'Spinning Around' b / w 'Find the One Who Loves You.'

Switching to the Kwanza label, Black Ivory charted with 'What Goes Around (Comes Around)' at number 44 R & B in summer 1974.

For Buddah Records, they recorded 'Will We Ever Come Together' b / w 'Warm Inside' in early 1975, and for the Panoramic label, they recorded 'You Are My Lover.'

Other Buddah singles were 'You Turned My Whole World Around' b / w 'Peace & Harmony, You Mean Everything to Me' and a 12" single, 'Walking Downtown.'

'Mainline,' their dance classic, was a single (with 'You Got Me Running' on the flip side) from their 'Hangin' Heavy' LP issued by Buddah Records in July 1979 and was bootlegged on a massive scale.

Leaving Black Ivory in 1977, Burgess co-wrote and produced dance hits for a spectrum of dance acts as well as on himself for mostly New York based dance labels.

Convertion's 'Let's Do It' b / w the romantic mid-tempo cut 'All I Want Is You' on Sam, Fonda Rae's 'Touch Me (All Night Long)' (later a 1991 number two pop hit for Cathy Dennis) and 'Over Like a Fat Rat' on Vanguard, Intrigues's 'Fly Girl' on World Trade and its follow-up 'Together Forever' on Cooltempo, and others.

Patrick Adams was a frequent collaborator of Burgess.

Herbie Mann's 'Stomp Your Feet' from the 1978 Atlantic LP 'Super Mann', the 1978 Adams' studio group Atlantic LP project 'Patrick Adams Presents Phreek' with vocals by Burgess, 'Weekend,' later covered by Class Action, Bumblebee Unlimited's 1979 RCA LP 'Sting Like a Bee', Skipworth and Turner's 'How Much Is Too Much' on their 1989 4th and Broadway LP 'Harlem Nights', Eddie Kendricks' 'I Never Used to Dance' from 1979's Arista LP 'Something More', Venus Dodson's 'Shining' and 'Where Are We Headed' from 1979's RFC / Warner Bros LP 'Night Rider', and Change's 'You're My Number 1' from the 1982 RFC / Atlantic LP 'Share Your Love', among many others.

Some of Leroy's best work was recorded on the Cayre Brothers' label, Salsoul Records.

Teaming with his cousin, drummer Sonny Davenport, and bassist James Calloway, Burgess formed one of the hottest rhythm sections in dance / pop music.

LoggVenus Dodson

They recorded a self-titled album as Logg with producer Greg Carmichael, which yielded 'You Got That Something,' 'Dance in the Stars,' and 'I Know You Will,' co-written by guitarist Doc Powell who went on to have a successful career in the '90's as a smooth jazz artist.

Powell, a top New York session musician during the '80's, says the track was created when he got a late-night call from Burgess inviting him to the studio to record.

'I Know You Will' by Larry Levan, charted number 80 R & B in late summer 1981.

Patrick Adams had given the studio group Inner Life, which featured singer Jocelyn Brown ('Somebody Else's Guy'), their biggest hit with 'I'm Caught Up (In a One Way Love Affair),' which hit number 22 R & B in late 1979 on Prelude Records.

Switching to Salsoul, their 1980 self-titled LP, 'Inner Life', produced by Adams and Greg Carmichael, included a rousing remake of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' and 'Make It Last Forever.'

Their second Salsoul LP, 'Inner Life II', produced by Adams, Carmichael, and guitarist / songwriter Stan Lucas, was released in October 1982 and boasted the inspiring, gospel-slanted dance classic 'Moment of My Life.'

The 12" single was mixed by future Madonna producer Shep Pettibone and included an extended version, an instrumental, and a short radio edit mix.

There was a Leroy Burgess Salsoul single, the smooth dance cut 'Heartbreaker' b / w the up-tempo 'Stranger,' that had a strong Michael Jackson / 'Thriller'-ish influence and both tracks had strong choir-like background vocals.

The Leroy Burgess album never appeared.

Unfortunately Salsoul folded not long after the release of 'Heartbreaker.'

During 1984, Leroy penned 'Barely Breaking Even' for the Patrick Adams produced Universal Robot Band.

The track soon became popular on the UK dancefloors and is now considered, by punters, a 'rare groove'.

Recording with twin brothers,Taharqa and Tunde-Ra Aleem, Burgess enjoyed his biggest R & B charting singles under his own name.

The single, 'Get Down Friday Night' by Aleem Featuring Leroy Burgess, was released on the Aleem's NIA label and became a dance club hit.

The next NIA single, 'Release Yourself,' took off in dance clubs and on college radio, which was very unusual for a dance record.

The hit streak continued with 'Confusion' and 'Get Loose.'

Getting a deal with Atlantic Records, the trio's debut single, 'Love's on Fire,' hit number 23 R & B in spring 1986.

Their debut album, 'Casually Formal', included the follow-up single 'Fine Young Tender,' 'Confusion,' and the ballads, 'Stay,' and 'Think' (not the Aretha Franklin hit).

Their next LP, 'Love Shock', yielded the title track single as well as the Burgess ballad 'More and More Love' and the country-ish 'Lonely Tears.'

Though the trio was dropped from the Atlantic roster after two LPs, they continued to work together.

They produced, 'Stage Lights' from the 1987 self-titled Columbia LP by the Rick James mentored group, Process and the Doo Rags; 'Comin' Back to You' on Kashif's 1989 Arista LP, 'Kashif', and the 1991 Konkrete singles as Leroy Burgess Featuring Angel, 'Running After You,' co-written by Young M.C., and 'Miss Thang.'

After a bout with substance abuse, that also took in his cousin Sonny Davenport, Burgess become a born-again Christian.

He can be heard on gospel artist Vanessa Bell Armstrong's 1993 Jive / BMG CD 'Something on the Inside'.

Leroy Burgess's contribution to dance music over the last 30 years has been quite prolific.

He has been such a musical influence on each of his various musical 'vehicles', that his 'sound' runs right through each tune.

Real Player

Here are some of Leroys / Leroy Produced Twelve Inch Singles:

Walking Downtown - Black Ivory (Saturday Night) US (Buddah 1976)

Everbody Dance - Bumblebee Unlimited (Canada Disques Direction 1977)

Weekend -   Phreak (US Atlantic 1978)

Weekend - Phreek (Remix) (UK Atlantic 1978)

Mainline - Black Ivory (Buddah 1979)

Shining - Venus Dodson (RFC 1979)

I Got A Big Bee - Bumblebee Unlimited (RCA 1979)

Walk Before You Run - Dazzle (De-Lite 12" 1979)

No Way - Inner Life (Personal 1980)

Calibre Cuts - Various Artists (Calibre 1980)

Summertime - High Frequency (Nia 1980)

Let's Do It - Convertion (Sam 1980)

Hooked On Your Love - The Fantastic ALEEMS (featuring Calebur) ( Nia 1980)

Hooked On Your Love (Rick Gianatos Mix) - The Fantastic ALEEMS (featuring Calebur) (Panorama 1980)

Big Time - Rick James (Motown 1980)

The Bumble Bee Rap - Bumble Bee Unlimited (Salsoul 1981)

I Know You Will - Logg (Salsoul 1981)

Weekend - Class Action (Sleeping Bag 1981) 

(You've Got) That Something - Logg (Salsoul 1981)

Sweet Thing - Convertion ( Vanguard 1982)

Get Down Friday Night - The Fantastic Aleems (Featuring Leroy Burgess) (Nia 1982)

Getting Over US Frills - Kool Kyle (FR 1982)

Over Like A Fat Rat - Fonda Rae (Vanguard 1982)

Moment Of My Life - Inner Life (Salsoul 1982)

Rappers Revenge - Mike Gee (Streetwise 1983)

No Way - Inner Life (Personal 1983)

Heartbreaker -Leroy Burgess (Salsoul 1983)

Get Loose - Aleem (Streetwave 1984)

Get Loose - Aleem Featuring Leroy Burgess (Nia 1984)

I Can't Stop Dancin' - Conversion (Helly-O 1984)

I Can't Wait To Break - Billy Jones (Nia 1984)

Release Yourself - Aleem (Nia 1984)

Fly Girl - Intrigue (World Trade 1984)

Let's Change It Up - Inner Life (Personal 1984)

You Are My Lover - Black Ivory (Panoramic 1984)

Release Yourself - Aleem (Featuring Leroy Burgess) (Nia 1984)

Release Yourself - Aleem (Featuring Leroy Burgess) (Streetwave 1984)

It Ain't No Big Thing - Demonstration (R&S 1985)

Confusion - The Aleems (Atlantic 1985)

100% - Caprice (Lovebeat International 1985)

100% - Caprice (Nia 1985)

Sing Sing / Moment Of My Life - Gaz / Inner Life (Dutch Rams Horn 1985)

Confusion - Aleem (TSR/Too Hot 1985)

Weekend - Class Action Feat. Chris Wiltshire (BCM 1985)

100% (Take It To The Max) - Caprice (UK Lovebeat International 1985)

You Can Do It (It's So Easy) - Dino Terrell (New Image 1985)

Barely Breaking Even - Universal Robot Band (Moonglow 1985)

You Can Do It (It's So Easy) - Dino Terrell (Lovebeat International 1985)

Confusion (DJ Copy) - The Aleems (Atlantic 1985)

Confusion - Aleem (With Leroy Burgess) (Nia 1985)

Barely Breaking Even (85 Club Mix) - Universal Robot Band (Streetwave 1985)

One Decade of PJB Megamixes (inc. Firenight Dance) - Peter Jacques Band (Dutch IMC 1985)

Heartbreaker - Leroy Burgess (Dutch Rams Horn 1985)

I've Got My Eye On You - Black Ivory (Panoramic 1985)

Once You Got Me Going - Debby Blackwell (Jump Street 1986)

No Way - Bobbi Humphrey (Mercury 1986)

Personal Injury - Caprice (Nia 1986)

Can't Shake Your Love - Black Ivory Featuring Russell Patterson (Panoramic 1986)

Fine Young Tender - Aleem Featuirng Leroy Burgess (Atlantic 1986)

Your Love - Innerlife (Personal 1986)

Love's on Fire - Aleem Featuring Leroy Burgess (Atlantic 1986)

Once You Got Me Going - Debby Blackwell (Ten 1986)

Your Love - Satin, Silk & Lace (Prelude 1986)

Get Down Friday Night (Remix) - Aleem Featuring Leroy Burgess (Nia 1986)

Love Shock - Aleem Featuring Leroy Burgess (Atlantic 1987)

Together, Forever - Intrique (US Cooltempo 1987)

Together, Forever - Intrique (UK Cooltempo 1987)

Over Like A Fat Rat ('88' Mix) - El Bee & Tee (Zoo Experience 1988)

Just Wanna Dance / Weekend - The Todd Terry Project (Fresh 1988)

Big Time - El Bee & Tee featuring Leroy Burgess (Production House 1988)

Hurtown - Clurel (Rooftop 1988)

Big Time - El Bee & Tee (White Label 1988)

Mainline '90 - The Jason Load Experience Featuring Iyona (Quark 1989)

Open Up Baby - Logg (In Groove 1989)

Heaven - M.O.D.E. Feat Leroy Burgess (Catch-The-Vibe 1990)

Weekend (Remix by Jose 'Animal' Diaz) - Phreak (30th Street 1990)

Believe In Your Heart - Larry Joseph & Science (Smokin' 1990)

Let's Do It In The Dancehall - Convertion Featuirng Jamalski ( Sam 1990)

Instigating, Trouble Maker - Innerlife ( In Groove 1990)

Your Love (90's version) - Inner Life (White Label 1990)

Running After You - Leroy Burgess featuring Angel (Konkrete 1991)

Miss Thang - Leroy Burgess (Konkrete 1991)

Pray - B.M.E. featuring Leroy Burgess (Freeze 1992)

Moment Of My Life - Bobby D'Ambrosio Feat. Michelle Weeks (Italy D-Vision 1997)

Sweet Thing - Slippery People Featuring Leroy Burgess (Rip-A-Dip 12" 2001)

Leroy Burgess Anthology (Soul Brother Records 2001)

Leroy Burgess Anthology Volume 2 (Soul Brother Records 2002)

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