Alfred Shaddick Burt was born in 1920 on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in Marquette. His father was an Episcopal pastor who encouraged his son's musical talents, buying him a cornet, presumably as a "bribe" to get the boy to undergo an appendectomy. The boy began studying his instrument while recuperating. Within a short period of time, Alfred was proclaimed a prodigy by many in his community who came to hear him perform in bands, orchestras and statewide competitions.
The young Alfred Burt had a love for Jazz that lasted his entire life. He attended the University of Michigan School of Music, at Ann Arbor, graduating in 1942 with a Bachelor of Music degree. Beginning in 1942, Alfred began following a family tradition of sending Christmas carols as holiday gifts. Between 1942 and 1954, Alfred composed fifteen now-famous Christmas Carols.
Burt died of lung cancer in 1954, but his Carols have been widely performed and recorded for decades, by such diverse artists as Nat King Cole, Julie Andrews, Kenny Loggins and James Taylor. The Alfred Burt Carols are published by Hal Leonard Music.
Burt's daughter, Diane Burt D'Amico, continues the family tradition, composing Christmas carols to this day.
The Alfred Burt Carols:
Christmas Cometh Caroling
What Are the Signs
Ah, Bleak and Chill the Wintry Wind
All on a Christmas Morning
Christ in the Stranger's Guise
Sleep, Baby Mine
Bright, Bright the Holly Berries
Some Children See Him
Come, Dear Children
O, Hearken Ye
We'll Dress the House
The Star Carol