I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 23, 1970.
I won a radio contest in my hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio and landed myself and my brother a small role on the TV show “Bay Watch”.
On August 9, 1997 I went to Paul McCready’s voice studio to practice my singing, from this lesson on, I knew that singing would be a large part of my career.
I flew to Venice Beach on December 23, 1998 and the next day, December 24, I performed for over six hours in jeans, boots, hat, and a flannel shirt. I only made $1.02 for the whole day. My friend Charles Worthington picked me up that afternoon and told me to not give up, and suggested that maybe I try something different. Jokingly he said “Hell, Robert, play in your underwear, that’ll make ‘em stop!”
The next day I went back to Venice Beach in my underwear to perform and by the end of the day had a guitar case full of dollar bills and everyone had been taking pictures of me, I even got on the news! My friend Charles picked me up again that afternoon, and on the way home Charles said, “Robert, you have passion, and that’s all it takes to be a singer”, he then laughed and said “my little NAKED COWBOY!” There, the name and image of NAKED COWBOY began.
Over the next few months I worked long hours at my job at TGI Fridays, while also working hard on my NAKED COWBOY career. I started writing a lot of songs in my spare theme that would later be recorded to CD.
On May 5, 1998 I remembered that the David Letterman Show was sometimes filmed on the streets of New York City, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to try to get on the show in my underwear as The NAKED COWBOY. I had the next 2 days off of work so I took a Greyhound to New York City that night and arrived early the next morning. I waited around until the crowd gathered outside then got into my “outfit”, my underwear had been airbrushed LETTERMAN. Only a few people got to take pictures of me before I was asked by security to leave the area. I then went down to times Square but again, security approached me and asked the I leave. I then boarded the Greyhound and was on my way back to Cincinnati, Ohio.
On May 11, 1998, the CD John Robert Burck “the Small Town Crusader” was made. My brother Kenny, friends Rick Rieman, Kurt Meulenhard, and Carl Shivener worked for 11 days laying down the tracks and mixing the CD. I sent the CD out to every entertainment attorney, independent record label and major record label that I knew of.
I started to send out videos to national daytime talk shows and got on Jenny Jones on November 13, 1998, then again on December 6, 1998. On December 14, 1998 I landed an appearance on the Gong Show in California. From these shows I got national exposure, and I soon trademarked my new persona.
On January 5, 1999 I decided that I was going to start touring and get famous. I set out with a 8.5 x 11 inch map of the United States with several cities marked on it that I planned to hit while touring the country.
Over the next couple years I toured the country as The NAKED COWBOY, and received a lot of press from newspapers, news shows, and television shows.
A friend of mine suggested one day that I travel east, because in the east the cities were located closer together. Soon I found myself in Times Square again and realized that this was where I should be. Times Square is where the greatest number of people will get to see me, and take pictures of me which they will show to all their friends and family. There are also many major TV shows that film in New York City which gives me the opportunity to be filmed and be seen by an even greater audience.
Since then I have become an international icon where everyone knows who I am. I now have 2 record deals with, 4Sight Music Productions in New York, NY and TMR Records in Nashville, TN. All of the songs that have been released can be purchased on iTunes.
I have been on many international shows, including the Paul O’Grady Show in the UK, the Stephan Raab Show in Germany, Gordo y LaFlacca in Latin America, and the Rove Show in Australia, to name a few.
I currently have I Reality Show on www.youtube.com which is filmed by my videographer, Ron Israel.