Today is the birthday of Burt Bacharach, the 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. The world is a better place because he was in it and still feels the loss that he has left.
Name: Burt Freeman Bacharach
Date of Birth: May 12, 1928
Place of Birth: Kansas City, MO
Date of Death: February 8, 2023
Place of Death: Los Angeles, CA
Spouses: Paula Stewart (m. 1953; div. 1958); Angie Dickinson (m. 1965; div. 1981); Carole Bayer Sager (m. 1982; div. 1991); Jane Hansen (m. 1993)
Academy Award for Best Music (Original Song) 1982, 1970 · Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do), Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head
Grammy Award for Song of the Year 1987 · That’s What Friends Are For
Academy Award for Best Music (Original Score) 1970 · Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award 2008
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score 1970 · Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song 1982 · Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)
Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album 1970 · Promises, Promises
BAFTA Award for Best Original Score 1971 · Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals 1999 · I Still Have That Other Girl
Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media 1970 · Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Grammy Trustees Award 1997
Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album 2006 · At This Time
Grammy Award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental Or A Cappella 1968 · Alfie
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Series 1971 · Another Evening with Burt Bacharach
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music 1969 · Promises, Promises
Best Known For: Award-winning songwriter/composer Burt Bacharach was behind a wide array of hits, including “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” and “That’s What Friends Are For.”
Burt Bacharach is a celebrated American composer, pianist, and singer known for his unforgettable melodies and heartfelt lyrics that have touched millions of hearts around the world. He was born on May 12, 1928, in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in Forest Hills, New York.
Bacharach’s father was a newspaper columnist, and his mother was an accomplished pianist who encouraged his musical talents from an early age. As a child, he was already playing the piano and started studying music formally when he was only seven years old. Bacharach showed an exceptional talent for composing, and by the age of 15, he had already written his first song.
After completing high school, Bacharach studied music at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He then moved to New York City to pursue his career as a composer and arranger. Bacharach began working as a pianist and conductor for a variety of artists and bands, including Marlene Dietrich, The Ames Brothers, and Vic Damone.
In the early 1960s, Bacharach met Hal David, a lyricist, and the two began a successful collaboration that would last for many years. Together they created some of the most enduring songs in popular music history, including “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” and “What the World Needs Now is Love.”
Bacharach’s music is characterized by its distinctive harmonies, catchy melodies, and lush orchestration. His work has been widely recognized, earning him numerous awards, including six Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards.
In addition to his work as a composer, Bacharach has also enjoyed a successful career as a performer. He has recorded several albums, including his debut album, “Hit Maker! Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits,” which featured instrumental versions of his most popular songs.
Bacharach has been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1997 for his contributions to American culture. He has continued to write and perform music well into his eighties, leaving an indelible mark on the music industry and inspiring generations of musicians and songwriters.
Today, Burt Bacharach’s music remains as popular as ever, with new generations discovering the timeless beauty of his melodies and lyrics. His legacy as a composer, performer, and musical icon is secure, and his influence on popular music is immeasurable.