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Leroy Burgess

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Leroy Burgess is a songwriter and prolific disco producer. He is related to Thom Bell and Kool & the Gang members Robert “Kool” Bell, Ronald Bell (a.k.a. Khalis Bayyan) and Amir Bayyan (a.k.a. Kevin Bell) of the Kay-Gees.

Burgess was a member of Black Ivory and lead vocalist of the majority of their hits in the early ’70s. The band was signed by small East Coast label Today/Perception, which was run by Patrick Adams, also the band’s manager. Burgess frequently collaborated with Adams in writing songs, as well.

The group scored a number of R&B hits in the 1970s, including “Don’t Turn Around”, “You And I”, “I’ll Find A Way (The Loneliest Man In Town)”, “Spinning Around”, “What Goes Around (Comes Around)” and “Will We Ever Come Together”. Though they recorded several uptempo tracks, such as “Big Apple Rock,” “Walking Downtown (On A Saturday Night)”, “What Goes Around (Comes Around)” and, later, “Mainline” (written by Burgess, but recorded after he left the group), Black Ivory faced tough competition from the rise of disco, but proved unable to compete when disco became the dominant music style.

Burgess chose to move on, joining the band Aleem, which had hits with “Confusion”, “Release Yourself”, and “Hooked On Your Love”. He also continued to work with producer Adams in various studio groups. In addition to the hits he had with Aleem, Burgess was featured vocalist with Adams’ groups Bumble Bee Unlimited, Logg, Inner Life (which also featured Jocelyn Brown), The Universal Robot Band, the Peter Jacques Band, Dazzle and M.O.D.E., (with whom he recorded “Heaven”), and did lead vocals on “Much Too Much” by Phreek.

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