Burt Bacharach

Burt Bacharach Headshot

Songwriter • Composer • Record Producer • Pianist

Birth Date: May 12, 1928

Death Date: February 8, 2023

Birth Place: Kansas City, Missouri

Spouses: Angie Dickinson

Songwriter Burt Bacharach had perhaps only Brian Wilson and The Beatles for company in terms of combining artistic innovation and commercial success in '60s pop. He was best known for the long string of hits he wrote for Dionne Warwick with lyricist Hal David, but his legacy extended far beyond that. Born in Kansas City, Missouri on May 12, 1928 but brought up in Queens, New York, Bacharach learned piano in his youth and grew up loving jazz. After extensive studies in music, including instruction from such pioneering composers as Henry Cowell and Darius Milhaud, Bacharach had his first steady gig playing piano for crooner Vic Damone. He became Marlene Dietrich's musical director in 1956, filling that role for several years. But while working with Dietrich he also began collaborating with lyricist Hal David, with whom he wrote the 1957 country hit "The Story of My Life" for Marty Robbins. Hits for Perry Como and others followed, and by the early '60s, when he left Dietrich's employ, he and David flung themselves upon the world full-force as a writing team. Jerry Butler, Andy Williams, and Gene Pitney were among the singers the pair penned hits for in that period. But in 1962 David and Bacharach met young singer Dionne Warwick and all three lives were altered forevermore. She turned out to be the ideal voice for the material Bacharach and David were writing-classy pop tunes that combined irresistible hooks with unconventional structures and sophisticated orchestrations. Starting with 1962's "Don't Make Me Over," Warwick had a run of hits that lasted through the rest of the decade, creating pop standards like "Walk On By," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Anyone Who Had a Heart," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose," and many more in the process. But even while working with Warwick, Bacharach and David were scoring hits with other artists, including Jackie DeShannon ("What the World Needs Now"), Tom Jones ("What's New Pussycat?"), and Herb Alpert ("This Guy's in Love With You") to name but a few. At the same time, Bacharach was releasing his own largely instrumental albums, finding success in the Easy Listening market. By the early '70s, Bacharach, David, and Warwick parted ways. In the '70s Bacharach continued releasing solo records and did some soundtrack work. He began notching hits again in the '80s, including the Christopher Cross-sung "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" from the 1981 film "Arthur," Neil Diamond's "Heartlight," and "On My Own" by the duo of Patti Labelle and Michael McDonald. All these included lyrics by Bacharach's then-wife Carole Bayer Sager. Bacharach found another interesting writing partner in the '90s, writing and recording 1998's acclaimed Painted from Memory with Elvis Costello, and performing live in support of it. In the 2000s there were collaborations with the likes of Ron Isley and Rufus Wainwright, and in 2016, British singer Rumer emerged as an ideal vehicle for Bacharach's classic material with the release of This Girl's in Love (A Bacharach & David Songbook). Bacharach remained active all through the 2010s, into his 90s. Burt Bacharach died on February 8, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA at the age of 94.

Credits

Dionne Warwick: Don't Make Me OverStream

Self
Movie
2021
91%

Burt Bacharach - Live in Glastonbury

Music Performer
Show
2017

Whitney: Can I Be Me

Actor
Movie
2017

Po

Original Music
Movie
2016

The Carpenters: Close to You, Remembering The Carpenters

Self
Show
2015

Burt Bacharach at Glastonbury

Self
Show
2015

Glastonbury

Guest
Show
2014

CBS This Morning

Guest
Show
2012

Wisdom

Self
Movie
2008

Nip/TuckStream

Guest Star
Himself
Series
2003
74%

A Tribute to Burt Bacharach & Hal David

Actor
Movie
2002

Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song

Self
Movie
2002

Definitely Dusty

Self
Show
2000

Isn't She Great

Original Music
Movie
2000

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged MeStream

Actor
Himself
Movie
1999
53%

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged MeStream

Self
Movie
1999
53%

Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters

Actor
Movie
1997

Grace of My Heart

Original Music
Movie
1996

The NannyStream

Guest Star
Series
1993

Love Hurts

Original Music
Movie
1990

Baby BoomStream

Original Music
Movie
1987
67%

Romantic Comedy

Composer
Movie
1983

Singer Presents Burt Bacharach

Host
Show
1971

Another Evening with Burt Bacharach

Self
Show
1970

Feliciano: Very Special

Self
Show
1969

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidStream

Original Music
Movie
1969
90%

Casino RoyaleStream

Original Music
Movie
1967
26%

After the Fox

Original Music
Movie
1966

What's New, Pussycat?Stream

Original Music
Movie
1965
32%

The Andy Williams Show

Guest
Variety Show
1962

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