Walt Disney Records:
Biography of Gary Burr
Renowned songwriter Gary Burr makes his debut as a producer on Disney Country. No stranger to the Nashville scene, Burr has penned numerous hit songs for an impressive roster of country artists, including Wynonna, Collin Raye, Doug Stone, Patty Loveless, and The Oak Ridge Boys.
Burr attributes his start in music to a soccer injury in high school. After breaking his leg during a match, the cast-wearing teenager picked up a guitar to help pass the time. Before long, he had formed a band with friends and started writing his own songs. Encouraged by a bandmate, Burr sent a tape of his songs to 13 different record companies. He got 12 rejections. The 13th led to a recording contract.
He joined Pure Prairie League in 1980 and, for the next five years, was the band's lead singer and guitarist. While recording and touring with PPL, Burr began to send songs to Nashville, in hopes that other artists would take an interest in recording his music. The first song he sent was "Love's Been a Little Bit Hard on Me," which became a smash hit by Juice Newton in 1982. The second was "Make My Life With You," a song The Oak Ridge Boys took to No. 1 on the country music charts.
Burr spent the next several years writing songs and raising a family in Connecticut. He moved to Nashville in 1989 to sign with MCA Publishing. Over the next few years, he emerged as one of the top songwriters in the business. At one point during 1994, he had four singles released simultaneously: "I Try to Think About Elvis," by Patty Loveless; "More Love," by Doug Stone; "What's in It for Me," by John Berry; and "A Man of My Word," by Collin Raye.
That same year, Burr was named Songwriter of the Year by Billboard magazine and the Nashville Songwriters Association International. He won the same award from ASCAP in 1995. He started off 1996 with his sixth No. 1 song, "Can't Be Really Gone," by Tim McGraw, followed by the No. 1 smash "To Be Loved by You," by Wynonna, and the current hit song by Patty Loveless, "A Thousand Times a Day."
Although Disney Country has given Burr his first producing credit on an album, he's no stranger to the recording studio - having assisted in the production of countless albums. He has worked in varying degrees with many of the artists featured on Disney Country, including Larry Stewart, Faith Hill, Hal Ketchum, Kathy Mattea, and Pam Tillis. Several of the artists on the album have recorded some of Burr's songs, including George Jones and Collin Raye.