Monday, October 2, 2023
HomeHomeBurt Bacharach, legendary composer dies at 94

Burt Bacharach, legendary composer dies at 94

Burt Bacharach
Pic credit :- Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Burt Bacharach Died

American pop has lost a giant. Burt Bacharach died of natural causes on Wednesday at his home in Los Angeles with his family by his side, according to his publicist. He is 94 years old.

Burt Bacharach has produced a surprising number of hits over the decades: “Say a Little Prayer.” “Walk by.” “What the world needs right now.” “It’s raining on my head.” This is just a small part of his music – he has won Grammys, Emmys and Oscars. Burt Bacharach melodies are burned into the memories of generations of listeners.

Call it curated pop. Burt Bacharach wrote and arranged many of his hits, often adding horns and strings to create his signature sound.

In the 1960s, Bacharach worked with his musical partner, lyricist Hal David, at the prestigious Brill Building in New York. Their star car is Dionne Warwick.

Burt Bacharach music is easy to understand – it even sounds simple. But as Dionne Warwick and other musicians have pointed out, they’re not simple. Bacharach’s pop songs are distinctive in their structure, tonal shifts, and 1960s time signatures. Take “Anyone Who Had A Heart”; it was Warwick who pointed out to Bacharach that the song kept changing time signatures.

Pic credit :- Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Burt Bacharach was a classically trained musician who absorbed everything. He grew up in Queens, New York. His father was a journalist. His mother was a musician. She insisted that her son practice the cello, drums and piano. As a teenager, the young Bacharach wandered into jazz clubs to meet Dizzy Gillespie and Count Basie.

Shortly after leaving the hospital, Bacharach began playing with singers and musicians he had met in nightclubs. The songs he heard from his contemporaries were so simple that he thought he could write like them. So Bacharach returned to New York to hone his signature style: a mix of pop, rock and Latin styles characterized by syncopated rhythms, frequent keys and dramatic climaxes.

“I know I’m doing different things, but at the same time I’m doing things that come naturally to me,” he told in 2006. “I wasn’t trying to break any rules. But I wrote it the way I heard it.”

In 1957, Bacharach began his legendary collaboration with composer Hal David. The duo’s first hits were “Story of My Life” (recorded by Marty Robbins) and “Magic Hour” (recorded by Perry Como).

Pic credit :- Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Bacharach toured with Marlene Dietrich as musical director. He and David went on to write such hits as Gene Pitney’s recordings of “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” and “Only Love Can Break a Heart.” Love Can Break a Heart) and a string of hits with singer Dionne Warwick, such as “Don’t Make Me Over” in 1962 and “Say a Little Prayer” in 1967.

The film was also affected by Bacharach’s influence. He composed the theme song for “What’s New Pussycat?” and “Alfie,” both nominated for an Academy Award. He and David won another Oscar for Dusty Springfield’s Look of Love for Casino Royale. “Bad Boy” (1969) won Bacharach a Grammy and an Oscar.

In the decades that followed, Bacharach scored more than 70 US Top 40 singles and six Grammy Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He’s even extended his legacy to a new generation with a cameo in “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” an appearance on “American Idol” in 2006, and collaborations with artists like Dr. Dre, Elvis Costello and Rufus Wainwright.

Pic credit :- Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Bacharach was married four times, including to actress Angie Dickinson and songwriter Carole Beyer Sager. He has four children: daughter Nikki (with Dickinson); son Christopher (with Seger) and son Oliver and daughter Raleigh (with fourth wife Jane Hanson).

He studied with the famous classical composer Darius Milau. It was Mijo who encouraged Bacharach to pursue the kind of music he felt compelled to create. “His observation was ‘never shy away from someone who has a tune you can whistle,'” Bacharach said of his teacher. “I thought, ‘Wow.’

In no time, Bacharach composed tunes that could be booed by millions. Herb Alpert is not known for his singing. He is a songwriter, bandleader, trumpeter and co-founder of A&M Records. But his first No. 1 single on the singles chart was “This Guy’s in Love with You” with Burt Bacharach and Hal David.


Trending News