Country songwriter Bruce Burch, who wrote such hits as Reba McEntire’s “Rumor Has It” and “It’s Your Call,” died on Saturday, March 12. He was 69.
Burch fought a nearly 30-year battle with leukemia. According to a news source out of Burch’s home town of Gainesville, Georgia, his health had worsened before his death on Saturday.
In addition to his two hit singles for McEntire, Burch wrote many other songs for artists including T. Graham Brown, Faith Hill, Aaron Tippin, The Oak Ridge Boys, George Jones, Barbara Mandrell, John Anderson and Wayne Newton, among others. He published a book in 1996 about his music career called Songs that Changed Our Lives, in which he shares stories about his songs.
The Georgia native helped establish an annual concert series in Gainesville originally known as the “Bruce Burch & Friends Honor John Jarrard Concert.” The benefit shows have raised money for local nonprofits over the past 20 years through the John Jarrard Foundation, including for Good News Clinics, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hall County and the Georgia Mountain Food Bank. Burch grew up with Jarrard, a fellow songwriter and Georgia Music Hall of Famer, who died of complications related to diabetes in 2001.
In 2012, Burch started teaching entertainment business classes at Brenau University after he helped start music business programs at the University of Georgia and Kennesaw State University. He also operated his own publishing companies, worked for EMI Publishing, and worked as an artist manager.
Burch is survived by his daughter, Sarah Stenzel; his son, Matthew Burch; as well as his four grandchildren, Lucy and Maisy Stenzel and Jack and Walter Burch.