Legendary Songwriter Hal David Dead at 91
(NEW YORK) — Legendary songwriter Hal David, who with Burt Bacharach wrote some of pop music’s most enduring classics, has died, the Songwriters Hall of Fame has confirmed. He was 91. He passed away at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles from complications from a stroke.
With Bacharach, David scored his first success with “The Story of My Life,” for country singer Marty Robbins. They went on to pen hits for Perry Como, Gene Pitney and Bobby Vinton, but when they teamed with a young vocalist named Dionne Warwick in 1962, they created musical magic. Their string of hits for Warwick included “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Walk on By,” “A House Is Not a Home,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Message to Michael,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” Alfie” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.”
Other legendary tunes penned by David and Bacharach include the #1 Oscar-winning hit “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” recorded by B.J. Thomas for the movie Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid; “What the World Needs Now Is Love” by Jackie DeShannon, “This Guy’s in Love with You” by Herb Alpert, ‘What’s New Pussycat” by Tom Jones and “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” by The Carpenters.
In May of 2012, President Barack Obama presented the prestigious Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to David and Bacharach. David was also Chairman and CEO of the Songwriters Hall of Fame from 2001 to 2011. The Hal David Starlight Award, presented each year by the Hall of Fame, has been awarded to such young songwriters as Taylor Swift, Jason Mraz, Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, Alicia Keys and John Mayer.
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