Sunday , 2 April 2023
Home Lifestyle The amazing career of Burt Bacharach

The amazing career of Burt Bacharach

When they talk about the Great American Songbook they usually are referring to the best songs of the 30’s, 40s and 50’s and composers like Gershwin, Cole Porter and Rogers and Hammerstein—but arguably Burt Bacharach, who has died at 94, started a new Great American Songbook in the 1960’s.

His first chart hit (and his first collaboration with Lyricist Hal David) was Marty’s Robbins’ “Story of My Life” in 1957, followed the next year with Perry Como’s “Magic Moments,” which went to number 4 on the charts. In the early 60’s he wrote modest hits for the Drifters, Chuck Jackson and Gene McDaniels, before scoring a big hit with “Baby It’s You,” with the Shirelles. It was that song that introduced Bacharach to Florence Greenberg and Scepter Records, where he wrote “Any Day Now” for Chuck Jackson and “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” for Tommy Hunt. In 1962 He write “Only Love Can Break a Heart” for Gene Pitney, his biggest hit to date, as well as songs for Bobby Vinton, Bobby Vee, Timi Yuro, and others. But it was also in 1961, that Bacharach came across a young background singer in New York named Dionne Warwick, who he brought to Scepter Records, and wrote her first hit, “Don’t Make Me Over.” It was the beginning of a collaboration that would define both artist’s’ careers.

In 1963 it was “Anyone Who Had A Heart” and “Walk On By” with Warwick, “Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa” with Pitney and “Wives and Lovers” with Jack Jones.

All though the 60’s the hits kept coming, mainly with Warwick, but also with, Herb Alpert, Tom Jones, Jackie De Shannon, Engelbert Humperdinck, and B.J. Thomas’s “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.” Hits continued, less frequently into the 70’s. In 1982 he penned “That’s What Friends are For,” reuniting  with Warwick and raising millions for AIDS research. His last big Chart hit was “On My Own,” sung by both Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald. 27 years after he write it for Richard Chamberlain of TV’s Dr. Kildare fame, the Carpenters made a hit with his “Close to You” in 1990.

Burt Bacharach created complicated melodies that lent an air of sophistication and sometimes whimsey to songs that were completely oblivious to the pop musical trends that were going on at the time. His output was prodigious.  And many of his songs continue to be classics.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles


Alex Reynolds reviews LIVING with Bill Nighy

The face is somewhat familiar. To moviegoers broadly, the name even less...


Young artists present their works as annual art auction in support of HHSC autism services is back

April is Autism Awareness Month and Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) McMaster Children’s...


Burlington gearing up for Earth Day with tree planting, events and tree giveaway

The City of Burlington and BurlingtonGreen are hosting Earth Day activities at...


Time for the Ancaster Lions Club Charity Craft and Gift Show

The Ancaster Lions Club Is holding its bi-annual Charity Craft and Gift...