composer, songwriter, record producer, pianist and singer, is considered one of the world’s most important contemporary composers. His hits include Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head, Arthur’s Theme, Close To You, Do You Know The Way To San Jose, I Say A Little Prayer, I'll Never Fall In Love Again, Walk On By, and What The World Needs Now Is Love.
Bacharach, has enjoyed major hits in all genres of music, including top 40, rhythm and blues, country, film scores and soundtracks. He is a multi-faceted composer enjoying credits with a host of major collaborators, particularly Hal David.
Born in Missouri, Bacharach did most of his growing up in New York City, where during his elementary school years, he began taking piano lessons. A familiar scenario indeed, which for many, ends almost where it starts with not enough will to practice and too much homework from school. Bacharach, in fact, ate it up and, already influenced by one of the significant fads of that time, be-bop jazz and such practitioners as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, he graduated from high school and continued his education at Montreal's McGill University, the New School for Social Research in New York and the Mannes School of Music, also in New York. His studies included music composition from such masters as Darius Milhaud, Bohuslav Martinu, and Henry Cowell.
During the earliest phase of his career, Bacharach worked as accompanist and conductor for Marlene Dietrich's night club act. In the early and mid-sixties, his songwriting talents became the pivotal force in his music, with country-rock smashes, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," and the classic, "Only Love Can Break A Heart," for Gene Pitney; and "Story Of My Life" for the country star, Marty Robbins.
Soon established as a major songwriting duo with Hal David, Bacharach and his partner became long term contributors to the career of Dionne Warwick. Over a period of 10 years, the pair enjoyed a string of 39 consecutive chart hits with Ms. Warwick, including such memorable songs as "Walk On By," "Don't Make Me Over," "I'll Never Fall In Love Again," "Promises, Promises," and "Message To Michael." The song, "That's What Friends Are For," recorded by Warwick with Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Gladys Knight, and co-written with Carole Bayer Sager, became number one on the hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, received a Grammy for "Song of the Year," and with songwriters and artists all contributing their services without charge, the recording raised over $1,500,000 for The American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR).
Burt Bacharach's motion picture scores have also achieved classic status. With Hal David as co-writer, the output includes a series of memorable themes, such as "What's New Pussycat," (the title song was a million-seller for Britain's Tom Jones); "Casino Royale," from which the song "The Look Of Love" was a gold record for both Dusty Springfield and Sergio Mendez and Brazil 66. The title song became a major hit for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Others in the movie genre include "Alfie," "Together?" with vocals by Michael McDonald, Jackie DeShannon, and Libby Titus; "Arthur," "Night Shift," "Making Love," "Baby Boom" and the memorable "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," for which he received a pair of Oscars. Meanwhile, an album compilation of greatest Bacharach hits featuring the original recordings and titled "Look of Love," was released earlier this year and promptly hit the number six position on the UK best-selling charts.
On the Broadway stage, Bacharach and David wrote "Promises, Promises," a smash hit at the box office as well as through the Dionne Warwick recording of the title song. On another front, Bacharach, as arranger and conductor, has also recorded eight albums for A&M Records.
In the few moments not totally devoted to composing, Bacharach has also become a horse owner with several successful thoroughbreds currently running, including Soul of the Matter and Afternoon Deelites. Another from the Bacharach stable, Heartlight No. One, a filly, was a winner of the prestigious Eclipse Award, an extremely significant accolade in track and paddock circles. The horse was named after the song, "Heartlight," composed by Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager and recording artist Neil Diamond.
"Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head,” "This Guy’s in Love with You,” and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again,” are just three of the hits in a string of standards written by Academy Award-winning lyricist Hal David. "Raindrops,” which was in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, garnered an Oscar, “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Close to You” and “Walk on By” are all in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
“What The World Needs Now is Love” was proclaimed “The Towering Song” by the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004, distinguished by its unforgettable melody and prayerful plain-spoken words that sound utterly contemporary today when conflict is so wide-spread around the world, even though it was written in 1965. In addition, "What's New Pussycat,” "Alfie,” and "The Look of Love" received Oscar nominations.
Amongst Hal David's million-sellers are such standards as "Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” "Walk on By,” "What The World Needs Now is Love,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me,” “One Less Bell To Answer,” and “To All the Girls I’ve Loved BeforeԖ all of which have become Pop standards. When Dionne Warwick recorded Hal David’s hit song “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” she commented that she felt it “should be the new national anthem.” Small wonder that Hal David has been honored for his way with words with every major award bestowed by the music industry, including 40 top 10 songs, numerous Grammys, the NARM Presidential Award, and the B'Nai B'rith Creative Achievement Award. He has also been elected to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and has been presented with their coveted Johnny Mercer Award, and is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Mr. David was awarded the prestigious Grammy Trustees Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Hal David received the esteemed Ivor Novello Award from the British Performing Rights Society (the first non-British person to ever receive that award).
Hal received a star on the famed Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011, and it was announced that he and Burt Bacharach will be honored with the prestigious Gershwin Prize in the spring of 2012: the first collaborative team to be so honored. In addition, Mr. David wrote the lyrics for film scores to Alfie, What's New Pussycat, Casino Royale, The April Fools, A House is not a Home, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Moonraker, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Hal David has been elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame for his many country hits, including “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before,” which garnered a Top Country Hit of the Year Award when the Famed country singer Willie Nelson duetted with the Latin star Julio Iglesias to record the hugely successful song. His Broadway show Promises, Promises received a Grammy, and was nominated for a Tony Award, when it first appeared on Broadway. Two songs, written for the show: “Promises, Promises” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” became instant hits. The The Encore Series in New York showcased Promises, Promises; following that successful revival, the Reprise Series produced the show in Los Angeles, where it was so successful that they extended the series, and presented Promises, Promises a second time in the same season.
Hal David’s work is quoted in "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations,” and the book of his lyrics, entitled "What the World Needs Now and Other Love Lyrics" was published by Simon & Schuster. The Joffrey Ballet features two of Mr. David's songs, "Make it Easy on Yourself" and "There's Always Something There to Remind Me" in its production of LOVE SONGS, which is in its permanent repertoire.
Lincoln College bestowed a Doctor of Music degree on Mr. David for his major contribution to American music, and he also received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree from Claremont Graduate University. In October of 2007 he received an Honorary Degree from the Five Towns College in Long Island, and in addition, they named their new Music Library building "The Hal David Music Library.” Hal David, Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick were the proud recipients of the prestigious New York Heroes Award, presented by the National Recording Academy. Mr. David is listed as a Distinguished Patron of the Arts of the Los Angeles Music Center. He served as a member of the Board of Governors of Cedars Sinai Medical Center, as well as the Board of Directors of ASCAP, having formerly served as its President.
Hal David was formerly the Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Chairman Emeritus, and was awarded their first ever Visionary Leadership Award in 2011. He passed away in September of 2012.
This collection see's renditions of some of their earliest songs, sung for the first time... many of which were covered many times over and became some of the most iconic pop songs ever...