Some historians suggest we start creating social networks for dead people so that we don’t lose the rich history and the impact they had on the world and community, but more importantly so we don’t forget their names. Jim Burgess is one of those names. He was plucked from Atlanta and whisked to NY to start a club called 12 West. Later he went on to remix some of the most influential dance records of our time such as Linda Clifford’s “Runaway Love”, “Lover’s Holiday” by Change and “Here Comes That Sound Again” by Love-Deluxe. He also dabbled in production while collaborating and remixing greats like Alicia Bridges, Gregg Diamond’s “Bionic Boogie” and Candi Staton and Kiss.
Jim was one of the first DJ’s to use sound-bites from iconic films and classical music both during and as introductions to his sets. Jim later went on to play at Paradise Garage and The Saint where legend has it that on his last night he left the club at the peak of his set and let the record run out, leaving Sharon White to finish out the night.
In 1987 Jim 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.