Rory Bourke

Induction Year: 1989

Birth Name: Rory Michael Bourke

Birth Date: 07-14-1942

Place of Birth: Cleveland, Ohio

Rory Bourke can recall watching and loving movie musicals as early as age seven, which ignited his lifelong passion for songs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he graduated from Mount Saint Mary's College in 1964 and worked for the New York Central Railroad, tracing lost railroad cargo cars. During lunch breaks, he wrote song lyrics, setting them to music at home in the evenings.

In 1969, he began working as a record promoter for the country division of Mercury Records in Nashville, soon becoming national sales and promotion manager. But when he landed a B-side of a Top 20 Elvis Presley single with his song "Patch It Up" in 1970, he decided to pursue songwriting as a career. In 1971, he met music publisher Don Gant, who became his songwriting mentor. Bourke was a staff songwriter at Chappell Music and at PolyGram Music. He formed his own song-publishing company in 1994.

"The Most Beautiful Girl," which he co-wrote with fellow Nashville Songwriters Hall of Famers Billy Sherrill and Norro Wilson, became a massive hit for Charlie Rich in 1973, topping both the country and the pop charts. In 1979, Bourke began co-writing with songwriter Charlie Black, who became a frequent collaborator and ultimately a fellow member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Together the two have turned out many hits, including several country and pop successes for singer Anne Murray, including "Shadows in the Moonlight" and "A Little Good News."

Among the many other stars who have sung Bourke's songs are Elvis Presley, Conway Twitty, Tom Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Cher, George Strait, K. T. Oslin, Deborah Allen, Lynn Anderson, Olivia Newton-John, the Oak Ridge Boys, Ronnie Milsap, Julio Iglesias, Dolly Parton, Tim McGraw, Phil Vassar, Kenny Rogers, Mickey Gilley, Tanya Tucker, Mel Tillis and Kenny Chesney.

Bourke was named ASCAP's Country Songwriter of the Year in 1975, 1979 and 1983. He has received four Grammy Award nominations for Country Song of the Year.

"A Little Good News"

(written with Charlie Black, Tommy Rocco)

Anne Murray1983 #1 country, #11 adult contemporary, #74 pop

"Another Sleepless Night"

(written with Charlie Black)

Anne Murray1982 #4 country, #11 adult contemporary, #44 pop

"Baby I Lied"

(written with Deborah Allen, Rafe Van Hoy)

Deborah Allen1983 #4 country, #10 adult contemporary, #26 pop

"Blessed Are the Believers"

(written with Charlie Black, Sandy Pinkard)

Anne Murray1981 #1 country, #10 adult contemporary, #34 pop

"Bye, Bye"

(written with Phil Vassar)

Jo Dee Messina1999 #1 country


(written with Charlie Black, Phil Vassar)

Phil Vassar2000 #5 country

"Come Next Monday"

(written with Charlie Black, K. T. Oslin)

Judy Rodman1986 
K. T. Oslin1990 #1 country

"Do You Love as Good as You Look"

(written with Charlie Black, Jerry Gillespie)

Bellamy Brothers1981 #1 country

"Easy as Pie"

(written with Gene Dobbins, Johnny Wilson)

Billy Crash Craddock1975 #2 country

"He Talks to Me"

(written with Mike Reid)

Lorrie Morgan1990 #4 country

"Honky Tonk Memories"

(written with Gene Dobbins, Johnny Wilson)

Mickey Gilley1977 #4 country

"I Couldn't See You Leavin'"

(written with Ron Scaife)

Conway Twitty1991 #3 country

"I Know a Heartache When I See One"

(written with Charlie Black, Kerry Chater)

Jennifer Warnes1979 #10 country, #14 adult contemporary, #19 pop
Jo Dee Messina1998 

"It's Only Over for You"

(written with Mike Reid)

Tammy Wynette1985 
Tanya Tucker1987 #8 country

"It's Too Late to Love Me Now"

(written with Gene Dobbins, Johnny Wilson)

Charly McClain1977 #87 country
Dolly Parton1978 
Cher1979 #87 country
Jeanne Pruett1980 #9 country

"Let's Stop Talkin' About It"

(written with Deborah Allen, Rafe Van Hoy)

Janie Fricke1984 #1 country

"Little Red Rodeo"

(written with Charlie Black, Phil Vassar)

Collin Raye1998 #3 country

"Lonely But Only for You"

(written with Charlie Black, K. T. Oslin)

Sissy Spacek1983 #15 country
K. T. Oslin1987 

"Lucky Me"

(written with Charlie Black)

Anne Murray1980 #8 adult contemporary, #9 country, #42 pop

"Man With a Memory"

(written with Charlie Black)

Joe Nichols2002 

"Neon Rose"

(written with Marion Abston)

Mel Tillis1973 #3 country

"Patch It Up"

Elvis Presley1970 

"Shadows in the Moonlight"

(written with Charlie Black)

Anne Murray1979 #1 country, #1 adult contemporary, #25 pop

"Sweet Magnolia Blossom"

(written with Marion Abston)

Billy Crash Craddock1974 #3 country

"Tender Moment"

(written with Lewis Moore, Lee Roy Parnell)

Lee Roy Parnell1993 #2 country

"The Most Beautiful Girl"

(written with Billy Sherrill, Norro Wilson)

Charlie Rich1973 #1 country, #1 pop, #1 adult contemporary
Tom Jones1974 
Andy Williams1974 
Perry Como1974 
Johnny Mathis1977 
South 652001 #54 country

"Where Do the Nights Go"

(written with Mike Reid)

Ronnie Milsap1988 #1 country

"You Look So Good in Love"

(written with Glen Ballard, Kerry Chater)

George Strait1984 #1 country

"Your Love's Been a Long Time Coming"

Tammy Wynette1972 
Elvis Presley1975 

"Your Place or Mine"

(written with Carol Anderson, Mary Beth Anderson)

Gary Stewart1977 #11 country

Rory Bourke

Induction Year: 1989