Burt Bacharach

Few modern songwriters have the stature, prestige, and reputation of Burt Bacharach, who - in partnership with lyricist Hal David - created many of the best-loved songs of the late 20th Century, including a string of hits for Dionne Warwick. Born into a German Jewish family on May 12, 1928, in Kansas City, Missouri, he grew up in Forest Hills, New York. Burt Bacharach studied music in California and, strongly influenced by jazz, worked as a pianist accompanying singers like Vic Damone and Steve Lawrence. He met Hal David in 1957 at the Brill Building in New York and the new songwriting partnership had their first big break when Marty Robbins recorded “The Story Of My Life”, a Number 1 country hit in the US successfully covered in the UK by Michael Holliday. Other melodic hits swiftly followed, including “Magic Moments” (Perry Como) and “Make Room For The Joy” (Jack Jones), leading to an unprecedented run of success through the 1960s; notably with Dionne Warwick on hits like “Anyone Who Had A Heart” (also a UK Number 1 for Cilla Black), “Walk On By,” “Don't Make Me Over,” “Wishin' And Hoping,” and “You'll Never Get To Heaven.” Other major Bacharach-David hits from the era include “What's New Pussycat?” (Tom Jones), “I Say A Little Prayer” (Aretha Franklin), “Alfie” (Cilla Black) and “There's Always Something There To Remind Me” (Sandie Shaw). When he stopped working with David in the 1970s, Burt Bacharach teamed up with his future wife Carole Bayer Sager, creating hits for Christopher Cross (“Arthur's Theme”), Dionne Warwick (“That's What Friends Are For”) and Roberta Flack (“Making Love”). Burt Bacharach collaborated with Elvis Costello on the Grammy-winning album Painted From Memory (1998) and, in 2005, he made a solo album, At This Time, writing his own lyrics, with guest appearances by Rufus Wainwright and Elvis Costello. Burt Bacharach received many awards over the course of his career including statues from the Academy Awards (1969 x 2, 1981), the Golden Globe Awards (1969, 1981), and the Grammy Awards (1968, 1970 x 2, 1987, 1999, 2006). He was entered into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1972 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement in 2008. There have been many compilations of his finest musical moments including The Look of Love: The Burt Bacharach Collection (1998), 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection (1999), and His Greatest Melodies (2018). Burt Bacharach died on February 8, 2023, at the age of 94.

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Stations Featuring Burt Bacharach

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