Artist and Industry Friends Remember Anthony
I do not feel like reporting this information. I don't want to.. because I hate that this has happened. We have lost
one of the nicest people I have ever known.
The facts: Anthony Burger apparently suffered a heart attack while performing on a Gaither Homecoming Cruise.
Anthony was 44 years old. He is survived by his wife,.. LuAnn, sons, A.J. and Austin and daughter, Lori... as well
as his parents Richard and Jean Burger and brothers; Randy and Clinton Burger.
My thoughts: Anthony Burger was the first person in the industry to support the things that I do. The first to spend
money and back my efforts in SG. Anthony,.. and the management in his office,.. would often email to encourage.
Those words have always meant a lot.. especially when I was discouraged.
I first met Anthony during his Kingsmen days. He was with the hottest quartet.. and I was with a big radio station.
Then I ran into him again at the 2003 National Quartet Convention. After all those years away from the SG
limelight... most of my friends in the industry didn't remember me. but Anthony did. He treated me special,.. even
when there was nothing for him to gain.
The page this is written on.. was to be part of a new website design for Anthony. His office staff and I wanted to
surprise him. I never thought these words would be written here. I just never dreamed he would be gone.
I know this doesn't sound much like a big news story... and I am rambling.. but this is hard to write. I miss
SH SHOW PREP
I was privileged to work with Anthony many times over the years, from his surprise visit as the guest pianist for a
local group in eastern North Carolina, to the recording of "United Through It All" in Louisville during NQC week
after the terrorist attacks. Anthony was an incredibly gifted person and every time I saw him weave his magic on
the piano keys I was in absolute awe. There will never be another just like him. Heaven's got a tremendous piano
player now, but we sure will miss him down here! Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this most
I searched my office and found a copy of the Crossroads Airplay Sampler from March-April 1999, the time we
released Anthony’s medley of “I’d Rather Have Jesus” and “It’s My Desire.” It’s playing now.
I was a pretty green song plugger in those days, but I was sure that radio stations would take to Anthony’s moving
piece the way I did, and that they’d carry it right up the charts! His styling of “I’d Rather Have Jesus” was so
beautiful, and I really liked the tender texture of the rare solo vocal he offered in the second half of the medley.
I remember sharing my thoughts and predictions with Anthony, to which he softly remarked, “Well, I hope you’re
right, but they usually play me going into news time.” He was one gracious gentleman.
All of us at Crossroads are saddened by the news of Anthony Burger’s untimely death. He had strong ties to our
company-first as a Kingsmen, then both as a soloist and as a member of The Trio featuring Anthony, Ivan Parker
and Kirk Talley.
Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with the Burger family, and with all people who knew and loved this quiet
Christian gentleman and wonderfully gifted musician. We’ll all miss him, but we delight in knowing where he is.
I first met Anthony in 1979. He had just joined the Kingsmen, and I had just joined the Segos. Since we were both
booked by Century II, we worked a lot of concerts together. Back in those days, we were both just teenagers, and I
saw him almost every week. I remember Anthony being so much fun to be around. We laughed a lot. It amazes me
that he attained the great success that he did, yet so well deserved. He was the best. I guess, like most of you I
feel cheated, but then, God always knows what he's doing. Just imagine what the band sounds like in Heaven right
now. I would guess it has just been kicked up a notch, as Anthony has just sat down to play.
It's so hard to lose a hero. Especially one so young. No one has influenced our music anymore than my friend.
Anthony was someone who lived his dream with passion and pursued it always with excellence and dignity. Truly,
he flew higher than most of us ever dream of. I've known Anthony since he and I were kids. He grew up just down
the road from me. We have always been close. Today, I feel like I've lost my brother. This is such a sad day for
every singer, musician, and friend of Gospel Music. And it seems to me that pianos of Earth must now cry as they
say goodbye to a master.
Though he came along some five years after I did, Anthony Burger and I were born in the same hospital. Before
my family moved to Kingston, TN from Cleveland, TN, his family lived on the same street we did. And though we
worked the same little churches with some of the same local groups in Eastern Tennessee, I didn't get to know
Anthony until my Homecoming days began in the 90's.
We became close friends, reminding each other of mutual heroes and mentors in the "Sangin' Bidness" from time
to time. I was totally stunned to get the news, and truth be known, I am still in shock.
My prayer today is for peace for the family who are no doubt devastated, and for the countless friends and fans
who will miss him. May angels guard our way to the time and place we will see and hear him again!
We were honored to have Anthony with us at the Steve Hurst School of Music each summer. I think the thing that I
remember most is his love of people. It didn't matter who the student was - how well they played or didn't - he took
time with them to talk. He wanted to share everything he had with them. And our students LOVED him!!!!! I saw
him in December at a Gaither Concert and he said he was counting the days until the school. That is just how he
When I heard the news last night it was so hard to believe he was gone. But in my mind's eye I can see him
playing in heaven. To think he finished playing "We Shall Behold Him" in the the arms of the Lord.
Our prayers are with the entire family!! May God be with them during this time!!
Steve Hurst School of Music
Anthony Burger was one of the greatest pianists that Gospel Music has ever had, and I'm proud that I had the
honor of calling him a friend. He wasn'y just a friend, but was also one of my heroes. Anthony Burger, along with
Roger Bennett and Derrell Stewart, hold a special place in my heart, as my 3 heroes. Everything I do seems to be
a mixture of their styles and accomplishments. Anthony encouraged me from the first time I met him, He played a
duet with me on my first instrumental album, he invited me to join his Pianorama at NQC, and he wrote quotes
about me in publications. He did all of this for some young red headed kid who he didn't have to take time to fool
with, but he didn't mind putting others in the spotlight. I will be forever grateful to Anthony Burger for all that he has
done for me and I'm glad to have been able to hang out with him many times. I spoke with him about a week ago,
since he was playing on my newest recording with me. Losing Anthony is a tremendous loss for all of Southern
Gospel Music. He had just sent me a copy of his new dvd, and I had watched it the night prior to his death, And I
had been putting all of my old Kingsmen VHS tapes onto DVD earlier that day. So I had been watching and
listening to his music all day, and after hearing the news it was such an extreme shock!
Thanks Anthony for all you have done for me and thanks for being a friend! I'm sure that Anthony has found a
Steinway in heaven and is holding a Pianorama with Wally, Hovie, and all the greats!
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Steinway & Sons Remember Anthony Burger