Edmund L. Burke
1931 ∼ 2017
“Where civilization ends and the wild life begins"
Edmond L Burke, 76, of Quincy and formerly of Milton died March 9th. Ed was the loving son of the late Edward Burke Sr. and Mary (Cosgrove) Burke and he grew up in Milton. He was a graduate of Milton High School, Class of 59 and Bentley College, Class of 62. After college he joined the Air Force National Guard and then took a job with Stop and Shop's warehouse in Readville. Around 1970, when his father’s health began to fail, he took over his father’s small neighborhood tavern, Ed Burke’s, on Huntington Avenue in Jamaica Plain. Soon, Eddie acquired an adjoining business property and expanded "Ed Burke’s" into a small well-known nightclub featuring local, national and international blues musicians. The slogan for Ed Burke’s was: “Where civilization ends and the wild life begins.”
Many up and coming blues bands made their start there during the 70’s and 80’s while well known talent came from New Orleans, Chicago and the West Coast. Noel Redding, Jimi Hendrix’s Irish base player performed at Ed Burkes three times. Other such notables to play Ed Burke's were Sonny Rhodes, Luther, 'Guitar Jr.', Johnson, AC Reed, Tommy Ridgley, and Johnny 'Clyde' Copeland whom Ed not only befriended, but continued to follow through to the next generation with Johnny's daughter Shemekia Copeland.
In his younger years, Eddie traveled coast-to-coast visiting famous blues venues, especially the Chicago Blues Festival, recruiting new talent and making friends. After retiring from Ed Burke’s in 1994, Eddie took up a new life as a taxi driver for Yellow Cab in Quincy which he kept up until his last months but Chicago and their Blues community always held a special place in his weakening heart.
Eddie had a reputation of generosity and fairness with musicians from all over the country and they all respected him. He attended the annual Chicago Blues Festival religiously until 2015 when his health would no longer allow it, visiting his many friends—including Shemekia Copeland, Doorman, Lorenzo at Blue Chicago and Joanna Connor as well as all his decades-long friends at Kingston Mines.
Eddie fell in love with blues and rhythm & blues as a 14-year older and, throughout his life, he frequented greater Boston nightclubs and concert halls listening to the latest bands and chatting with his many friends in the music world. When sitting with an audience, he was frequently called to the stage by performers and publicly praised. In late 2016 he was honored with a special plaque from the Boston Blues community. There are lots of “Eddie Burke stories” to be told amongst his friends.
A Memorial Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Agatha’s Church, Milton at a time to be announced in May or June. Ed is survived by many loving cousins. Please check the funeral home webpage for further information on the date of the funeral or sign the guestbook, visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com . Arrangements by Chapman, Cole & Gleason 508-697-4332.