Anthony Burger

Last updated

Anthony Burger
Burger on stage in 2003
Background information
Birth nameAnthony John Burger
Born(1961-06-05)June 5, 1961
Cleveland, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedFebruary 22, 2006(2006-02-22) (aged 44)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Genres Southern gospel
InstrumentsPiano, vocals
Years active1975–2006
LabelsSpring Hill
Associated acts The Kingsmen, The Celestials, The Gaither Vocal Band

Anthony John Burger (June 5, 1961 – February 22, 2006) was an American pianist and singer, most closely associated with Southern gospel music.


Early life

Anthony Burger was born in Cleveland, Tennessee to Richard and Jean Burger. At age eight months, he was using a baby walker and fell into a heating duct on the floor of his house. [1] [2] He suffered third degree burns on his hands, face and legs. After suffering the burns, Burger's doctor told his parents he was very likely to not be able to move his hands in the future. Despite the odds, Burger recovered. At the age of five, he was accepted at the Cadek Conservatory, [3] University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. A child prodigy, Burger was playing classical piano repertoire within a few years. Burger attended Bradley Central High School in Cleveland but did not graduate. [4]


Burger's first recording, Anthony Burger at the Lowrey Organ, was released in 1975 when he was 14 years old. He recorded with The Celestials on their album Ole Fashion Gospel in 1976. He joined the Kingsmen Quartet at age sixteen and remained with them until March 1993. During that time, Burger recorded nineteen projects with the group and was voted the Favorite Pianist in the Singing News Fan Awards for an unprecedented ten years. The award was renamed the "Anthony Burger Award" for several years after that. During this period, Burger presented the award to the winner each year, but was ineligible to receive it.[ citation needed ]

In 1992, Burger left the Kingsmen Quartet to pursue a career as a solo pianist. He joined the Gaither Homecoming Tour the following year and was featured on more than 65 Homecoming videos. Burger continued to release piano solo recordings and headline concerts, but his solo schedule was balanced by about 80 Gaither Homecoming dates per year. Adding more variety to his schedule, Burger formed an impromptu sideline group with Ivan Parker and Kirk Talley around 1998 called "The Trio." The group performed at several events each year. (Shane Dunlap later replaced Parker.)

Burger was known throughout his career to tell of how God healed his hands and playing the piano was his way of praising God. During the course of his career, Burger teamed up with gospel saxophonist Dan Traxler. Their album, "Classic Gospel", was released to streaming services including Spotify, in 2020.[ citation needed ]

Over the course of his career, Burger released a number of piano folios, permitting fellow keyboard players to perform his arrangements.

The Hazelton Brothers piano company honored Burger just after the turn of the century when they began offering an "Anthony Burger Signature" model. Then in late 2005, Steinway & Sons announced that Burger was being added to their exclusive roster of endorsing artists, making him the first Southern Gospel pianist to ever hold that honor. [5]

The Trio members



(Under the Name "The Trio")


On February 22, 2006, at the age of 44, Burger died of a massive heart attack after performing aboard the MS Zuiderdam, a cruise ship chartered for a Gaither Gospel Cruise. [6] According to eyewitnesses, Burger was accompanying Bill and Gloria Gaither and Guy Penrod when fans in the audience noticed Burger had ceased moving, his hands clenched into fists over the keyboard. Several fellow artists carried him backstage, where the cruise ship's emergency response team performed CPR for about 45 minutes, to no avail.


Singing News Fan Awards

Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame

Related Research Articles

Bill Gaither (gospel singer) American singer and songwriter

William James Gaither is an American singer and songwriter of Southern gospel and contemporary Christian music. He has written numerous popular Christian songs with his wife Gloria; he is also known for performing as part of the Bill Gaither Trio and the Gaither Vocal Band (GVB). In the 1990s, his career gained a resurgence, as popularity grew for the Gaither Homecoming series.

Gaither Vocal Band

The Gaither Vocal Band is an American southern gospel vocal group, named after its founder and leader Bill Gaither. On March 1, 2017, it was announced that the Gaither Vocal Band lineup consisted of Reggie Smith, Wes Hampton, Adam Crabb, Todd Suttles, and Bill Gaither. Although the group started out recording contemporary Christian music in the 1980s, it became known for southern gospel after the popularity of the Gaither Homecoming videos.

George Younce

George Wilson Younce was an American bass singer, known for performing with Southern gospel quartets, especially The Cathedrals.

Russ Taff American gospel singer and songwriter (born 1953)

Russell Taff is an American gospel singer and songwriter who grew up in Farmersville, California. He has sung a variety of musical styles throughout his career including: pop rock, traditional southern gospel, contemporary country music, and rhythm and blues. He first gained recognition as lead vocalist for the Imperials (1976–81). One of his best-known performances is the song "Praise the Lord". He has also been a member of the Gaither Vocal Band, and occasionally tours with Bill Gaither in the Gaither Homecoming concerts. As a solo artist and songwriter, Taff is known for the 1980s anthem "We Will Stand". Taff has received various Dove and Grammy awards either as a solo artist or part of a larger musical group, most notably the Imperials.

The Cathedral Quartet, also known as the Cathedrals, was an American southern gospel quartet who performed from 1964 to December 1999. The group's final lineup consisted of Glen Payne (lead), George Younce (bass), Ernie Haase (tenor), Scott Fowler, and Roger Bennett.

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

Ernie Haase & Signature Sound is a Southern gospel quartet founded in 2002 by Ernie Haase, former Cathedral Quartet tenor and Garry Jones, former Gold City pianist. As of January 2020, the group consists of Dustin Doyle (baritone), Devin McGlamery (lead), Paul Harkey (bass) and Ernie Haase (tenor). As of June 2015, when Doug Anderson departed the group, Haase was the only member left remaining from the group's inaugural vocal lineup. The lineup of the band has changed several times. The group has released 29 albums and 14 DVDs, which feature other Christian artists.

Gaither Homecoming

Gaither Homecoming is the name applied to a series of videos, music recordings and concerts, which are organized, promoted and usually presented by Christian music songwriter and impresario Bill Gaither. To date, the Gaither Homecoming title is applied to more than 60 videos, dozens of music recordings, and an annual concert tour that drew more than half a million fans in 2004.

Michael English (American singer)

Michael English is an American Christian singer and record producer. Initially, he was a member of his family's singing group, and later a member of The Gaither Vocal Band. During his solo career, he recorded eight studio albums. English's highest-charting solo single was "Your Love Amazes Me", which reached No. 10 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1996.

Legacy Five is a Southern gospel quartet founded by former Cathedral Quartet members Roger Bennett and Scott Fowler in 2000, after the owners of the Cathedral Quartet, Glen Payne and George Younce, decided to retire in 1999.

Rex Nelon

Rex Lloyd Nelon was a southern gospel musicician, who had a career spanning over 40 years of both singing and publishing gospel music. He was a longstanding member of The LeFevres, which later became The Nelons after his own family took over management. Nelon was also a featured singer of the Gaither Homecoming series.

Jason Crabb American musician

Jason Douglas Crabb is a Christian music singer and musician. He has been the lead vocalist for the group The Crabb Family.

Janet Paschal

Janet Paschal is an inspirational gospel vocalist. She has released numerous albums in that genre and has received multiple fan awards and Grammy and Dove Award nominations. She is also a songwriter and published author. In May 2019, she was inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.

Squire Enos Parsons Jr., is a Southern Gospel singer and songwriter. He was born in Newton, West Virginia, to Squire and Maysel Parsons, and was introduced to music by his father, who was a choir director and deacon at Newton Baptist Church. Squire's father taught him to sing using shaped notes.

David Phelps (musician)

David Norris Phelps is an American Christian music vocalist, songwriter and vocal arranger, who is best known for singing tenor in the Gaither Vocal Band. He has also released several solo albums, including four Christmas collections. On January 13, 2008, Phelps appeared on Extreme Makeover Home Edition for the Woodhouse family.

The Kingsmen Quartet is an American Southern gospel vocal quartet.

Ivan Ray Parker is an American Southern Gospel singer.

Henry Thaxton Slaughter was an American Southern gospel pianist, singer and songwriter. He has won five Dove Awards, and was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Wes Hampton American musician

Wesley Adam Hampton is a Christian music singer. He is a tenor for The Gaither Vocal Band. Hampton sang first tenor for the group from 2005 to 2009, then when it went from a quartet to a quintet, he became the second tenor. He also performs solo concerts. His first solo album was titled "A Man Like Me." Wes also appears and performs in the Gaither Homecoming video concert series, television series and cruises.

Bryan Hutson is a gospel musician who has performed with The New Generation, The Heartland Quartet, The Kingsmen Quartet, and is currently partnered with his wife, Yvonne, in Rescue Me Ministries.

Rosa Nell Powell was an American southern gospel singer who sang with the well-known Speer Family. She was born in Double Springs, Alabama, the second child of George Thomas "GT" Speer and Lena Speer, who led and helped founded the family group.


  1. "Gospel Pianist Anthony Burger Dies During Performance". Fox. February 24, 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  2. "ABP Biography". Anthony Burger Productions. February 22, 2006. Retrieved July 9, 2014.
  3. UTC Cadek Conservatory, home
  4. "Gospel Pianist Anthony Burger Dies At 44 While On Gaither Cruise". The Chattanoogan. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Southern Gospel Music Association Bio – Anthony John Burger
  6. "Gospel Pianist Anthony Burger Dies During Performance". Fox. February 24, 2006. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2014.