Hal David (1921 - 2012)

One of the biggest songwriters of the last century, Hal David, has passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 91. David died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital after suffering a stroke.

David began his songwriting in the 1940's, composing for Sammy Kaye and Guy Lombardo and writing music for film.

It was in 1957 that he met Burt Bacharach and started a pairing that would produce some of the biggest hits of the next two decades. Their first hits were Marty Robbins' The Story of My Life and Perry Como's Magic Moments but it was their frequent collaborations with Dionne Warwick that really put them on the map. From the start of her career, the majority of her hits were by Bacharach & David, including Don't Make Me Over (her first hit), Anyone Who Had a Heart, Walk On By, Message to Michael, I Say A Little Prayer, Do You Know the Way to San Jose? and I'll Never Fall in Love Again.

Bacharach & David also frequently wrote for films including such hits as What's New Pussycat?, Alfie, Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head and The Look of Love. For broadway, they wrote the music for Promises Promises.

Others with which David wrote included Albert Hammond (To All the Girls I've Loved Before), Sherman Edwards (Broken Hearted Melody, Johnny Get Angry) and Paul Hampton (Sea of Heartbreak).

Among his myriad of honors are his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1972) and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame (1984), his serving as president of ASCAP from 1980 to 1986 and heading the Songwriters Hall of Fame from 2001 to 2011.

The best way, though, to take in David's towering achievements is to look at a list of his songs that have made it into the lexicon of popular music:
  • The Story of My Life (Marty Robbins (1957)) (a)
  • Magic Moments (Perry Como (1958)) (a)
  • Broken Hearted Melody (Sarah Vaughan (1959)) (b)
  • My Heart is an Open Book (Carl Dobkins, Jr. (1959)) (d)
  • Sea of Heartbreak (Don Gibson (1961)) (c)
  • Johnny Get Angry (Joanie Sommers (1962)) (b)
  • Make It Easy On Yourself (Jerry Butler (1962), Walker Brothers (1965)) (a)
  • Only Love Can Break a Heart (Gene Pitney (1962)) (a)
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (Gene Pitney (1962)) (a)
  • Don't Make Me Over (Dionne Warwick (1962) (a)
  • Blue on Blue (Bobby Vinton (1963)) (a)
  • Wives and Lovers (Jack Jones (1963)) (a)
  • Twenty-Four Hours From Tulsa (Gene Pitney (1963)) (a)
  • Anyone Who Had a Heart (Dionne Warwick (1963)) (a)
  • (There's) Always Something There to Remind Me (Sandi Shaw (1964), Naked Eyes (1983)) (a)
  • Reach Out For Me (Dionne Warwick (1964)) (a)
  • Anyone Who Had a Heart (Dionne Warwick (1964)) (a)
  • Wishin' & Hopin' (Dusty Springfield (1964)) (a)
  • Send Me No Flowers (Doris Day (1964)) (a)
  • A House is Not a Home (Dionne Warwick (1964), Brook Benton (1964)) (a)
  • Walk On By (Dionne Warwick (1964), Isaac Hayes (1969)) (a)
  • You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart) (Dionne Warwick (1964), Stylistics (1973)) (a)
  • My Little Red Book (Manfred Mann (1965)) (a)
  • What's New Pussycat? (Tom Jones (1965)) (a)
  • What the World Needs Now Is Love (Jackie DeShannon (1965)) (a)
  • Message to Michael (Dionne Warwick (1966)) (a)
  • Trains and Boats and Planes (Dionne Warwick (1966)) (a)
  • I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself (Dionne Warwick (1966)) (a)
  • Alfie (Cher (1966), Dionne Warwick (1967)) (a)
  • The Look of Love (Dusty Springfield (1967)) (a)
  • I Say a Little Prayer (Dionne Warwick (1967), Aretha Franklin (1968)) (a)
  • This Guys in Love With You (Herb Alpert (1968)) (a)
  • Do You Know the Way to San Jose? (Dionne Warwick (1968)) (a)
  • Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (B.J. Thomas (1969)) (a)
  • Promises, Promises (Dionne Warwick (1969)) (a)
  • One Less Bell to Answer (Fifth Dimension (1970)) (a)
  • I'll Never Fall in Love Again (Dionne Warwick (1970)) (a)
  • (They Long to Be) Close to You (Carpenters (1970)) (a)
  • Living Together, Growing Together (Fifth Dimension (1973)) (a)
  • 99 Miles From L.A. (Albert Hammond (1975)) (g)
  • It Was Almost Like a Song (Ronnie Milsap (1977)) (f)
  • Moonraker (Shirley Bassey (1979)) (e)
  • To All the Girls I've Loved Before (Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias (1984)) (g)
(a) written with Burt Bacharach
(b) written with Sherman Edwards
(c) written with Paul Hampton
(d) written with Lee Pockress
(e) written with John Berry
(f) written with Will Jordan
(g) written with Albert Hammond

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