Rory Michael Bourke

Induction Year: 1989

Birth Name: Rory Michael Bourke
Birth Date: July 14, 1942
Place of Birth: Cleveland, OH


From the age of seven, Rory Michael Bourke loved watching movie musicals. "[That was] in a big way the reason I am a songwriter today," he says. But like many of his peers, the Cleveland, Ohio, native broke into songwriting through the back door.

Fresh out of college, Bourke came to Nashville in 1964 to take a sales and promotions job with Mercury Records. During the next few years, he made contacts and learned how the music business operated.

In 1971, he met publisher Don Gant, who was soon acting as his mentor. With veteran songsmiths Norro Wilson and Billy Sherrill, Bourke wrote "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World," which, in 1973, became a No. 1 country and pop hit for Charlie Rich. Bourke's gallery of greats also includes "Shadows In The Moonlight," "A Little Good News," "You Look So Good In Love," "I Know A Heartache When I See One" and "Come Next Monday." In 1989, he was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

"I started going to the movies full time when I was seven years old with the little girl next door. Her father was the manager of a Lowe's MGM theatre. I saw every MGM musical they every made and I believe that in that darkened theatre a dream started. Gene Kelley, Fred Astaire...they sang songs...they danced...they were romantic...they always got the girl...I believe my early musical movie going is in a big way the reason I am a songwriter today.

I learn from every person I write with, and I hope they learn from me...songwriting is an art whose lessons are never completely learned..." 
(from questionaire)

Former Occupations:
Tracer with the New York Central Railroad

Grade School--St. Anns (from 1948-1957)
High School--Gilmour Academy (from 1957-1960)
Mount Saint Mary's College (from 1960-1964)--Graduated

Discography / Career Highlights

Career Milestones:
1964 - moved to Nashville; took on position of National Sales and Promotion Manager for Mercury C&W
1971 - met and mentored by Don Gant and subsequently signed by Henry Hurt of Chappell Music
1973 - "Most Beautiful Girl" is a worldwide hit
1979 - met and started successful co-writing career with Charlie Black

1975 - ASCAP\Writer of the Year
1979 - ASCAP\Writer of the Year
1983 - ASCAP\Writer of the Year
CMA\Triple Play Award

Catalog Highlights:
"Most Beautiful Girl" - Co-Writer: Norro Wilson, Billy Sherrill - Artists: Charlie Rich (1973)

"Shadows in the Moonlight" - Co-Writer: Charlie Black - Artists: Anne Murray

"A Little Good News" - Co-writer: Charlie Black, Tommy Rocco - Artists: Anne Murray

"You Look So Good in Love" - Co-writer: Glen Ballard, Kerry Chater - Artists: George Strait

"Baby I Lied" - Artists: Deborah Allen

Won 11 BMI performance award and over 45 ASCAP performance awards

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