imagesThis morning I awoke to the news that Burt Bacharach had died at the age of 94.  I occasionally write about the sound track of my life, the hundreds … maybe thousands … of songs that not only touched me but connected with something that was happening in my life at the time they came out. We are so fortunate that Mr. Bacharach hit his stride as a composer in the sixties when sentimental lyrics set to catchy tunes featuring majestic harmonies with abrupt key changes and ornate time signatures (per The Washington Post) were part of the pop music landscape.  He would have been a magnificent songwriter in any era but is hard to imagine him adapting his style to today’s soulless auto-tuned,, hip-hop driven pop music. I am happy to have had his writing prime coincide with my young-adult listening prime, even if that means I’m 78 years old.

Thinking about Bacharach’s hit songs, my mind jumps first to Dionne Warwick (for whom many of his songs were written) but his songs have been recorded by over 1000 artists.  According to Wikipedia, Bacharach and his writing partner, Hal David, worked with artists Marty Robbins, Perry Como, Gene McDaniels and Jerry Butler. Following the initial success of these collaborations, Bacharach went on to write hits for Gene Pitney, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Jackie DeShannon, Bobbie Gentry, Tom Jones, Herb Alpert, B. J. Thomas, and the Carpenters. He arranged, conducted, and produced much of his recorded output.  To visualize the sheer volume of his musical output, jump to Wikipedia’s List of songs written by Burt Bacharach.. There I found songs that I love that I had no idea he wrote, like: Baby It’s You by the Shirelles (1964); The Look of Love by Dusty Springfield (1968); and One Less Bell to Answer by the Fifth Dimension (1970).  He was six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner, and as of 2014, he had written 73 US Top 40 hits.

I could go on and on, as I’m prone to when it comes to music but instead, I’ll leave you with a live performance of Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach.  Goodbye Burt.  You live on in the sountrack of my life and forever in your music.

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2 Comments on “Burt”

  1. Meg Says:

    Interesting to read your comments about today’s “soulless” pop music. I tuned in to the Grammys thinking I might familiarize myself with current music and or performers. OMG, had to mute it and then completely gave up. Of course I realize that I am old and not at all the target audience. So be it.

    • oldereyes Says:

      Don’t you wonder if the young generation will look back on today’s music as fondly as we look back on the music we listened to? Some of my teen-twenties music hasn’t aged well but the most part I love it.

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