Burt Bacharach

American pianist, composer, songwriter and producer (1928–2023) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Burt Freeman Bacharach (/ˈbækəræk/ BAK-ə-rak; May 12, 1928 – February 8, 2023) was an American composer, songwriter, record producer, and pianist who is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential figures of 20th-century popular music.[4][5][6]

Quick facts: Burt Bacharach, Background information, Birth...
Burt Bacharach
Bacharach in 1972
Bacharach in 1972
Background information
Birth nameBurt Freeman Bacharach
Born(1928-05-12)May 12, 1928
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
DiedFebruary 8, 2023(2023-02-08) (aged 94)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Composer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • pianist
  • singer
  • conductor
Instrument(s)
  • Piano
  • keyboards
  • vocals
Years active1950–2023
Labels
Spouse(s)
  • (m. 1953; div. 1958)
  • (m. 1965; div. 1981)
  • (m. 1982; div. 1991)
  • Jane Hansen
    (m. 1993)
Website
Close

Starting in the 1950s, he composed hundreds of pop songs, many in collaboration with lyricist Hal David. Bacharach's music is characterized by unusual chord progressions and time signature changes, influenced by his background in jazz, and uncommon selections of instruments for small orchestras. He arranged, conducted, and produced much of his recorded output.

Over 1,000 different artists have recorded Bacharach's songs.[7] From 1961 to 1972, most of Bacharach and David's hits were written specifically for and performed by Dionne Warwick, but earlier associations (from 1957 to 1963) saw the composing duo work with Marty Robbins, Perry Como, Gene McDaniels, and Jerry Butler. Following the initial success of these collaborations, Bacharach wrote hits for singers such as Gene Pitney, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, and B.J. Thomas.

Bacharach wrote seventy-three U.S. and fifty-two UK Top 40 hits.[8] Those that topped the Billboard Hot 100 include "This Guy's in Love with You" (Herb Alpert, 1968), "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" (Thomas, 1969), "(They Long to Be) Close to You" (the Carpenters, 1970), "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)" (Christopher Cross, 1981), "That's What Friends Are For" (Warwick, 1986), and "On My Own" (Carole Bayer Sager, 1986). His accolades include six Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, and one Emmy Award.

Bacharach is described by writer William Farina as "a composer whose venerable name can be linked with just about every other prominent musical artist of his era"; in later years, his songs were newly appropriated for the soundtracks of major feature films, by which time "tributes, compilations, and revivals were to be found everywhere".[9] A significant figure in easy listening,[2] he influenced later musical movements such as chamber pop[10] and Shibuya-kei.[11][3] In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked Bacharach and David at number 32 for their list of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.[12] In 2012, the duo received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the first time the honor has been given to a songwriting team.[13]

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