Although a prog rock guy thru and thru, I can and do appreciate other kinds of music. And thinking of myself as a songwriting first and foremost, I certainly have a deep place in my heart for the men and women who write the songs we all love. They might be singer-songwriters, lyricists, composers, or those hard-working tunesmiths who churned out stuff in the old Brill Building. I can’t express how much respect we should all have for these icons, plenty not names you’d ever know.
A composer of note, certainly in the high stratospheric league of the greats, was someone whose name was actually known by the layman, Burt Bacharach.
Mr. Bacharach died today at age 94.
Counting more than seventy top-40 hits, pretty much setting the swinging ’60s in motion, the man’s compositions “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Alfie,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “Close to You,” and the Oscar-winning “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head.”
I was lucky to have a dad and mom (and lucky to have them still) who adored and adore great tunes. On top of introducing me to The Carpenters and Simon & Garfunkel, I heard plenty of Bacharach songs played around the house when I was growing up.
Bacharach often teamed with lyricist Hal David, another giant in my estimation, where the team penned hits for Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendes, the Carpenters, the 5th Dimension, and especially, Bacharach’s muse, singer Dionne Warwick.
I was lucky to see the pair perform live in concert at Radio City musical all in the 80s and a longer, more impressive sting of this you have never heard
We are losing them by the barrelful. And given the age of our best and biggest (and we surely won’t talent like this again, I will argue to my dying day), but man, Burt Baracharh. Wow, this is one I can’t get my swinging groove around.