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Partnering with Burt Bacharach, this immensely-talented man was one of the best ever.  RIP Hal David.

The New York Times is reporting

Hal David, Songwriter, Is Dead at 91

Hal David, the Oscar-winning, Grammy-winning lyricist who in the 1960s and ’70s gave pop music vernacular the questions "What’s It All About?," "What’s New, Pussycat?," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" and "What Do You Get When You Fall in Love?," died on Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

The cause was a stroke, according to his wife, Eunice, who said he died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

Mr. David, whose lyrics could be anguished pleas, wistful yearnings, sexy mash notes or wry musings, and sometimes all four in the same song, was best known for the long strand of hits he and the composer Burt Bacharach wrote for Dionne Warwick.

Hal David (above right) with Burt Bacharach.

I'll update as more news is available.

Entertainment Weekly added this upon his passing

Hal David, whose simple, heartfelt lyrics made a perfect fit with Burt Bacharach’s quirky melodies and resulted in dozens of hit songs, including "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and "Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,"...

"Even at the end, Hal always had a song in his head," Eunice David said.  "He was always writing notes, or asking me to take a note down, so he wouldn’t forget a lyric."

David and Bacharach won an Oscar for "Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head" (from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), Grammys, and Tonys for the songs from the hit Broadway musical Promises, Promises, as well as other top 40 hits including "Close to You" and "That’s What Friends Are For."

Many of the duo’s lyrics and tunes continue to resonate in pop culture, including "I Say A Little Prayer," "What The World Needs Now Is Love," and "This Guy’s in Love with You." Their music was recorded by legendary singers including The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, and their longtime partner Dionne Warwick.

Paul Newman and Katherine Ross in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

In one of the best-known songs written by David and Bacharach ("The Look of Love"), Ursula Andress seduces Peter Sellers in the James Bond spoof Casino Royale

The Los Angeles Times pointed out that President Obama had referred to David and Bacharach as "two kings of songwriting" only a few months ago

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., David wrote a number of hit songs with other collaborators before teaming with Bacharach in 1956.  They scored their first hit together in 1957 with Marty Robbins’ recording of "The Story of My Life," which was followed by a 1958 hit for Perry Como, "Magic Moments."

The songwriters continued to collaborate with others over the next few years but began an exclusive partnership after discovering  their "magical interpreter," as David once described her: a young backup singer named Dionne Warwick...

In May, David and Bacharach were honored by President Obama as "two kings of songwriting" and were presented the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the nation's highest prize for popular music.

Hal David, Burt Bacharach (seated) & Dionne Warwick.  Photograph source: Goldmine.

Originally posted to JekyllnHyde on Sat Sep 01, 2012 at 03:56 PM PDT.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group, DKOMA, and An Ear for Music.


Which of These Hal David Songs is Your Favorite?

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| 105 votes | Vote | Results

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