Programme to Include...
- What the World Needs Now, Magic Moments, Anyone Who Had a Heart, Walk on By, Close to You, I Say a Little Prayer, I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself, Alfie and more!
Burt Bacharach, a legend of 20th-century popular songwriting, crafted enduring classics with lyricist Hal David. Their compositions were sophisticated, catchy, commercially successful, and musically intricate, creating numerous hits throughout their illustrious 50-year career.
Born in 1928 in Kansas City, Missouri, Bacharach was raised in New York, where his father was a prominent newspaper columnist. His teenage years kindled a passion for jazz, leading him to sneak into New York's jazz clubs while underage. He honed his musical talents in Montreal and California, even crossing paths with influential composer John Cage during his formative years.
After serving in the Korean War, Bacharach embarked on a civilian career as a composer and arranger. He wrote songs for various artists, eventually marrying actress and singer Paula Stewart. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he accompanied Marlene Dietrich during her cabaret tours in Europe and the United States.
Bacharach's collaboration with Hal David began at the Brill Building in New York, where they penned their first major hits. The Story of My Life sung by Marty Robbins and Magic Moments performed by Perry Como, both topped the UK charts.
The 1960s witnessed an unending stream of successes as they composed hits for artists like Gene Pitney, The Walker Brothers, and Dusty Springfield. Inspired by his second wife, Angie Dickinson, Bacharach wrote memorable songs for films, including Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head and Alfie.
Their most enduring partnership blossomed with Dionne Warwick, resulting in a string of nearly 40 Bacharach and David hits over a decade, including Walk On By and I'll Never Fall in Love Again.
As the 1970s approached, their partnership unravelled amid costly failures, such as the ill-fated musical version of Lost Horizon. Despite personal and professional challenges, Bacharach enjoyed a resurgence in the 1980s, collaborating with his third wife, Carole Bayer Sager, on hits like the theme song for Arthur.
Their combined talents yielded songs for artists such as Roberta Flack, Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Neil Diamond, and Patti Labelle. Bacharach's influence even extended to younger songwriters like Noel Gallagher of Oasis.
Bacharach's cleverness and musical genius left an indelible mark on the world of popular music, continuing to inspire generations of artists and listeners alike.
Featured image © Hannah Fathers