Glen Burtnik

During a career that began in the early '70s, New Jersey native Glen Burtnik has been a session player for a diverse group of artists that includes Celine Dion, Jan Hammer, and Lita Ford. He has also amassed songwriting credits that have seen his songs performed by Marshall Crenshaw, Patty Smyth, and Randy Travis. Born on April 8, 1955, in New Brunswick, NJ, Burtnik was writing songs by the age of 12. Instead of going to college, he went on to play the role of Paul McCartney in a production of Beatlemania, while continuing to play in bands. Signed to A&M Records in 1984, his solo debut, Talking in Code, was released two years later but failed to make much of an impact. Heroes & Zeroes was issued the following year and greeted with indifference as well, although Burtnik did manage to score a minor chart hit with the song "Follow You." In 1989, Burtnik was recruited by Dennis DeYoung to take the place of departed guitarist Tommy Shaw in the reconstituted Styx. Accepting the offer, Burtnik joined the group for 1990's Edge of the Century, co-writing five of the album's tracks, including the title song as well as the lead single, "Love Is the Ritual." The Styx reunion proved to be short-lived, although a couple of Burtnik compositions would appear on a greatest-hits compilation by the band in 1996. Throughout the '90s, his biggest successes would be penning songs for others, including "Spirit of a Boy, Wisdom of a Man" for Randy Travis and "Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough," which Patty Smyth and Don Henley took to number two on the pop charts in 1992. ~ Tom Demalon

    New Jersey
  • BORN
    Apr 8, 1955

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