Gospel Pianist Anthony Burger Dies At 44 While On Gaither Cruise

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A gospel pianist who hailed from Cleveland, Tn., died Wednesday while performing on a cruise with Bill Gaither.

Anthony Burger was 43.

He was a part of the Gaither Homecoming shows and had a number of gospel albums to his credit.

He lived at Brentwood, Tn.

Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland said Mr. Burger grew up in Cleveland and was on his radio show playing the piano when he was three. He said he had been friends with him ever since.

Mayor Rowland said Anthony burned his hands when he fell on a grate as a youngster, and doctors said he would not be able to use his hands. "But he was determined that he would play the piano."

He said he left Bradley High School when he was 16 to join the Kingsmen Quartet. He went on "to win virtually every gospel award. He won the gospel music award so often that they named it for him."

Mayor Rowland said Mr. Burger came back to Cleveland to film his 25th anniversary music video and it was a best seller. He was in Cleveland for three recent Christmas concerts and all were standing room only.

Mayor Rowland said Mr. Burger played the National Anthem at the World's Fair when President Reagan attended, and he played several times at the White House. He said he "played with all the great people."

He said there was no hint that he had any health problem, though he had said he was not feeling well and he had chest pains. He said he was on stage playing when he winked at his wife, Luanne, then fell dead.

The couple has a daughter, Lori, who is in college, and young sons, A.J. and Austin.

His parents, Richard and Jean Burger, still live in Cleveland.

Mayor Rowland said funeral arrangements are incomplete, though he expects there will be services in Nashville and in Cleveland.

He said the ship is not due to reach shore until Saturday. An autopsy will be performed, but a heart attack is suspected.

Anthony Burger was described as "a piano virtuoso with an incomparable style of playing. Classically trained, the much-revered pianist for the Gaither Homecoming series as well as a highly successful solo recording artist, he commands a stage with his keyboard acrobatics."

On his latest release, A Tribute To Bill & Gloria Gaither, he featured some of the best-loved classics from the Gaithers, including He Touched Me, The King Is Coming, It Is Finished and Because He Lives.



City Celebration Connects 5 Chattanooga Neighborhood “Block Parties” On Oct. 29

Five neighborhoods from Main Street to Glass Street will launch a series of “block parties” celebrating what makes each neighborhood unique and special during the inaugural Chattanooga City Celebration and Ciclovia o n Sunday , Oct. 29 . Musicians and dancers will perform. Artisans and craftspeople will demonstrate and sell their products. Food trucks, local restaurants and community ... (click for more)

City Of Chattanooga Seeks 50 Projects For 2018 MLK Day Of Service

Hundreds of Chattanoogans will be putting service into action for the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, commemorating the great civil rights leader. For Chattanooga’s fifth year of “A Day On, Not a Day Off,” the Office of Multicultural Affairs will mobilize local citizens, schools, neighborhoods, businesses, and organizations to help complete service projects around the city ... (click for more)

County Commission Votes 7-2 For Rezoning For C&D Landfill At Harrison

The County Commission on Wednesday voted 7-2 to approve rezoning for a Construction and Debris landfill at Harrison.  Voting in favor were Greg Beck, Warren Mackey, Sabrena Smedley, Greg Martin, Tim Boyd, Randy Fairbanks and Jim Fields.   Opposed were Chester Bankston and Joe Graham.  Commissioner Boyd said it was just the first step in permitting for ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Airport To Go "Off The Grid" After Final Phase Of Solar Panel Installations

The Chattanooga Airport is embarking on the third and final phase of its solar farm, which when completed will allow the Airport to "go off the grid." John Naylor, Airport vice president, said, "This will give us all the power we need to run the Airport." He said EPB will assist with installation of a power storage unit and a micro-grid controller to make the change-over possible. ... (click for more)

Vote No On The Rezoning For A New Landfill In Harrison - And Response (3)

County Commissioners, please consider the following facts when voting on the rezoning request for a new privately-owned C&D landfill in Harrison.  Use of this property for a landfill has been rejected by the county three times in the past (1971, 1984 and 2007).  In 1971 and 2007 the County Commissioners unanimously rejected the proposal.  In 1984 the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Mom Don’t Have…I Do’

It’s hard to know what goes through the mind of a five-year-old, particularly one who watches her mom go in and out of jail due to drug addiction. But little Sunshine Oelfke is obviously being raised right by her grandmother because the other morning, the five-year-old came into the kitchen before leaving for kindergarten with a baggie full of coins from her piggy bank. “I asked ... (click for more)