Monday, September 26, 2011

Charlie Burke Passes Away

Announcement from Singing

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.

The following is a statement from Clarke Beasley about Charles Burke:

"The greatest among us are those who do not focus on elevating themselves but elevating others. Charles Burke spent a lifetime elevating others, dreaming dreams and bringing them to fruition, advancing the cause of the music he loved and the professionals within that music that he loved even more. To the countless people whose lives he impacted, his memory will be cherished and he will be greatly missed.

Last week, as president of the Southern Gospel Music Guild, I watched as Mr. Burke was celebrated by the people who loved him most as he was presented the Lifetime Achievement Honor. I am so glad he knew just how much he was appreciated."

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 grous 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.

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