R.I.P. Hal David
Hal David, the lyricist best known for working with Burt Bacharach on some of the most popular songs ever written, has died from complications of a stroke. He was 91.
Bacharach and David were an incredibly successful team, yielding numerous Top 40 hits like “That’s What Friends Are For,” “Close To You,” and the Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid-featured “Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head,” for which they won an Oscar. The duo met while each was working in New York's Brill Building, joining forces for their first big hit, “Magic Moments,” for Perry Como. In 1962, they began writing for Dionne Warwick, who would sing many of their most popular songs, including “Walk On By,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” “Do You Know The Way To San Jose,” and the original demo of “(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me”—a song that charted several times, including a No. 1 version by Sandie Shaw in the UK, a 1970 version by R.B. Greaves, and again with a 1983 cover by synth-pop band Naked Eyes.
Among the many other acts who have performed songs written by David and Bacharach were The Carpenters, The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Isaac Hayes, and Aretha Franklin. Tom Jones sang their “What’s New, Pussycat” and Dusty Springfield their “Wishin’ And Hopin’.” They also penned songs for the Broadway musical Promises, Promises.
David was head of the Songwriters Hall Of Fame from 2001 to 2011, and served as the president of the American Society Of Composers, Authors, and Publishers from 1980 to 1986. In a statement, current ASCAP president Paul Williams said that David was “simple, concise, and poetic—conveying volumes of meaning in the fewest possible words and always in service to the music.”
Earlier this year, Bacharach and David were awarded the Library Of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song by President Obama, who said in the ceremony that the duo “captured the emotions of our daily lives.”