Aaron Swain's blog about Southern Gospel Music, News, and other items of interest in the SG world.

Archive for the ‘The Singing Americans’

Charles Burke, 1936-2011

September 23, 2011 By: Aaron Category: Charles Burke, SG Artists, SG History, SG Industry News, SG Music, The Singing Americans

Came across this article on the Singing News website:

Singing News has learned that Charles Burke has passed away today (Friday, Sept. 23) at around 7 a.m. at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Early indications suggest that Mr. Burke suffered a brain aneurysm late last night at his home near Maiden, North Carolina. He had just celebrated his 75th birthday Sunday, Sept. 18.

Mr. Burke is generally regarded as a “behind-the-scenes” guiding force of Southern Gospel music. Among his numerous contributions to music in bringing life harmony are his distinguished service as a Board Member of the Southern Gospel Music Association and the Southern Gospel Music Hall Of Fame. An entrepreneur with several diversified businesses to his credit, including partial ownership of the National Quartet Convention, Mr. Burke was a driving force behind the outstanding quartet, The Singing Americans, and, with his son Michael, owned Tape Corporation Of America.

A tremendous discoverer and encourager of new musical talent, Mr. Burke was instrumental in the careers of such persons as Clayton Inman and David Sutton of The Triumphant Quartet, Ivan Parker, Danny Funderburk, as well as such groups as The Whisnants, The Reggie Saddler Family and The Dove Brothers.

In a conversation this morning with Michael Burke, Michael says that the family appreciates all the prayers during this time. He further states that funeral arrangements are pending, but will be shared as soon as they are finalized.

Mr. Burke made an indelible mark on Southern Gospel music; one that is, sadly, often overlooked. I suppose that is part of being “behind the scenes,” but the list mentioned in the press release is only a part of his many accomplishments and influences on this music.

I couldn’t find the original version of the song from when Michael English was singing lead, but here is a song from the Singing Americans featuring Clayton Inman that is a fitting tribute for Mr. Burke. Listen to the words that he heard early this morning: “Welcome to Heaven, my child.”