.

Songwriter Hal David Dead at 91

Wrote hits including 'I Say a Little Prayer' and 'Close to You' with partner Burt Bacharach

September 1, 2012 5:24 PM ET
Hal David
Hal David attends his Hollywood Walk Of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Joe Kohen/WireImage

Hal David, the longtime songwriting partner of Burt Bacharach, died on Saturday morning at the age of 91, the Associated Press reports. His wife, Eunice David, said that he died at Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of complications from a stroke.

David was the lyricist in the partnership with Bacharach, and the pair racked up Grammys, Tonys and an Oscar for the songs they crafted together, including "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," and "Promises, Promises." David served for six years as president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He was also the head of the Songwriters Hall of Fame from 2001 to 2011, after which he became its Chairman Emeritus.

David was born in New York, where he studied Journalism at NYU before serving in the South Pacific during World War II. He met Burt Bacharach while working at the legendary Brill Building, and the pair began writing songs for Dionne Warwick in 1962, including "I Say a Little Prayer," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose," and "Always Something There to Remind Me." They also wrote hit songs for Dusty Springfield ("Wishin' and Hopin'"), Jackie DeShannon ("What the World Needs Now is Love") and Tom Jones ("What’s New, Pussycat") as well as other Top 40 hits, including "Close to You" and "That's What Friends Are For."

Last May, Bacharach and David were awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. At the White House tribute concert where the prize was presented, President Barack Obama praised the duo for their nearly six decades of work.

"Above all, they stayed true to themselves," Obama said. "And with an unmistakable authenticity, they captured the emotions of our daily lives – the good times, the bad times, and everything in between."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Wake Up Everybody”

John Legend and the Roots | 2010

A Number One record by Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes in 1976 (a McFadden- and Whitehead-penned classic sung by Teddy Pendergrass) inspired the title and lead single from Wake Up!, John Legend's tribute album to message music. The more familiar strains of "Wake Up Everybody" also fit his agenda. "It basically sums up, in a very concise way, all the things we were thinking about when we were putting this record together in that it's about justice, doing the right thing and coming together to make the world a better place," he said. Vocalists Common and Melanie Fiona assist Legend on this mission to connect.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com