Songwriting Genius Burt Bacharach Dies At Age 94 -

Burt Bacharach performs at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda on Wednesday 28 October 2015

Songwriting Genius Burt Bacharach Dies At Age 94

by Paul Cashmere on February 10, 2023

in News

Burt Bacharach, one of the greatest songwriters of the last century, has died at the age of 94.

Bacharach wrote of the greatest hits in music history (with Hal David 1921-2012) dating back to his first hit song (at age 29) ‘The Story of My Life’, recorded by Marty Robbins in 1957. Robbins was already a major star in the USA, having had his first number one hit in 1952.

Bacharach and David met at the songwriting factory Brill Building in New York City. Neil Diamond, Carole King, Neil Sedaka, Tony Orlando and Paul Simon all started their careers as hired songwriters at the Brill Building at 119 Broadway on 49th in Manhattan.

Bacharach and David had another hit a year later in ‘Magic Moments’, recorded by Perry Como.

In the 1960s, Burt Bacharach and Hal David rivalled Lennon and McCartney only for chart hits. The Beatles covered one of their songs ‘Baby Its You’ on their debut album ‘Please Please Me’. The song had been a no 8 hit in the USA for The Shirelles.

In 1961, Bacharach discovered 20 year old singer Dionne Warwick. Initially they were in a band together called Burt & The Backbeats. Burt and Hal started writing for Dionne as a solo artist. The Bacharach, David and Warwick combination had 22 Top 40 hits including ‘Walk On By’, ‘Anyone Who Had A Heart’, ‘Alfie’ ‘I Say A Little Prayer’, ‘I’ll Never Fall In Love Again’ and ‘Do You Know the Way to San Jose’. In 1985, Dionne once again joined Burt for the song he co-wrote with his then wife Carole Bayer-Sager, ‘That’s What Friends Are For’ (also featuring Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight).

Burt and Carole made a successful songwriting partnership into the 80s with ‘Arthur’s Theme’ for Christopher Cross, ‘Heartlight’ for Neil Diamond and ‘On My Own’ for Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald.

In the 90s, Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello teamed up for the ‘Painted From Memory’ album in 1998. In 1996 they collaborated for the movie ‘Grace of My Heart’ and composed the incredible ‘God Give Me Strength’, sung by Costello.

Burt and Elvis also featured together in the Austin Powers movie ‘The Spy Who Shagged Me’.

Burt Bacharach died of natural causes in his California home.

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