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Big band leader, born March 22, 1914 in Scranton, Pennsylvania; died May 31, 1980 in Santa Monica, California.
IPI / CAE#: 75647840
[b]Note: For funk - soul - jazz keyboardist, use [a=Sonny Burke (2)].
Do not confuse with songwriter [a=Johnny Burke] or [a=Joe Burke (3)].[/b]
In 1937, he graduated from Duke University. During the 30s and 40s he was a big band leader in New York (including [a=Sam Donahue]'s band) and during the 40s and 50s he worked as a band arranger for the [a=Charlie Spivak] and [a=Jimmy Dorsey] bands, among others. He was also bandleader for recordings of leading singers such as [a=Ella Fitzgerald] and [a=Mel Tormé].
He is credited as co-composer of "Midnight Sun", the [a=Lionel Hampton] tune with lyrics by [a=Johnny Mercer]. He was an active arranger and bandleader in major recording studios, including Decca Records. Burke was musical director of [l157] and was responsible for many of [a=Frank Sinatra]'s albums.