Billy Burger wasn't born with a guitar in his hands. It just seemed that way.
He went from age 6 to age 16 in the 1960s, rock and roll was going from zero to 60. From Chubby Checker to Sgt and Bob Darin to Bob Dylan, everything was changing fast. And Billy, guitar in hand, was absorbing it all.
He started his first band in 5th grade. In junior high, he played in several more bands. He began writing songs at 15, and in high school, he met a kindred spirit named Richard Grossman. In the ensuing years, he, Richard, Richard's brother Carl and another childhood friend John Lilley, were "Busy in the Night", playing Billy's and Richard's song at the Main Point at and on WXPN.
In the late 70s, Billy picked up a bass and helped form the "Get Right Band" (with Rob Dickenson, Jim Littmann, Lilley, Dave Hartl, the late Peter Cruickshank; and later, Steve Prentice, and Tom Stephenson), a tight Philly-area favorite that drew enthusiastic crowds for several years, both in numerous venues and with live concerts on WMMR and WYSP.
Eventually, after finding the love of his life-his wife-Terrie-Billy also found something else he needed: the courage to step out front as the leader of the Billy Penn Burger band. Showcasing his distinct voice and acclaimed songwriting talent, he played gigs throughout Chester County and Delaware and recorded two CDs. He won WSTW Homey Awards as the Best Male Solo Artist of 2014 and Best Songwriter of 2016, and he took first place at the 2014 Beta Hi-Fi Emerging Music Festival. Throughout his "solo" career, he was backed by numerous accomplished musicians and enthusiastic fans of Billy and his songs (Prentice, Nick Bucci, E.B. Hawkins, John McGovern, J.T. Whiteley, Chuck Whiteman, and Chris Sherlock among others).
Those who got to know Billy quickly recognized that behind Billy's beautiful melodies, catchy hooks and well-crafted lyrics was a gentle and immensely generous man often spoke and wrote about the importance of social justice and non-violence. It's a tribute to the soul of his music, that so many of the artists he respected and admired.