Pop composer Burt Bacharach dies at 94

By Grace Koennecke, Columns Editor

[Photo courtesy of Rolling Stone]

On Feb. 8, famous pop composer Burt Bacharach died at 94 in his Los Angeles home of natural causes. Bacharach was widely known for producing hits such as Dionne Warwick’s “Walk On By”, Jackie DeShannon’s “What the World Needs Now Is Love”, “I Say a Little Prayer”, and B.J. Thomas’s “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”, as well as various others.

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Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but moved to Queens, New York, during his teenage years. He was known for sneaking into jazz clubs and having a profound love for music.

His origins as a musician began in 1957 after meeting lyricist Hal David, who became his chief collaborator. Later that year, their songs “The Story of My Life” and “Magic Moments” became major hits for singers Marty Robbins and Perry Como, becoming a huge producer duo in the pop genre.

Writing songs for artists such as Dusty Springfield and Herb Alpert, their songbook was in high demand, being now one of the most covered in pop music by artists such as the Beatles, Aretha Franklin, and Nina Simone. 
Bacharach and David were also highly praised for scoring and soundtracking films such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and What’s New Pussycat? In 1972, the duo were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Four decades later, they received the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

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