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Los Angeles News

Songwriter-Lyricist Hal David Dead At 91
Posted by Claire Pelonis on Sep 3, 2012 - 8:25:03 PM

LOS ANGELESOn September 1, Academy Award winning songwriter and lyricist, Hal David, passed away in Los Angeles at age 91. According to a spokesman for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, David died from complications following a stroke at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

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David is best known for writing classics that include “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head”, “Walk On By,” “Close To You,” and “What the World Needs Now is Love.”

David teamed with Burt Bacharach in the 1950s to write songs for numerous artists, including Barbara Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, the Carpenters, and Dionne Warwick. The pair won an Academy Award for Best Song with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” featured in the film “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” They also wrote the score for the musical "Promises, Promises," which was nominated for a Tony Award and won a Grammy for best Cast Album of the Year in 1970.

Together, David and Bacharach wrote numerous top 40 hits, including the well-known “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” and “I Say a Little Prayer”.

Singer Smokey Robinson said in a statement on Saturday, "I hope that the music world will join together in celebrating the life of one of our greatest composers ever. I will really miss my friend but I will celebrate his life and he will live on-and-on through his incredible musical contribution."

"As a lyric writer, Hal was simple, concise and poetic -- conveying volumes of meaning in fewest possible words and always in service to the music. It is no wonder that so many of his lyrics have become part of our everyday vocabulary and his songs ... the backdrop of our lives.” said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams.
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In October 2011, Hal David became the oldest recipient of a Hollywood Walk of Fame star. In the same year, David and Bacharach were awarded the 2011 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song bestowed by the Library of Congress. It was the first time a songwriting team was given the honor. In May 2012, President Barack Obama and the first lady hosted a concert honoring Bacharach and David as part of the "In Performance at the White House" series.

David grew up in Brooklyn, New York. His first wife, Anne, died in 1987. He is survived by his wife, Eunice; two sons, three grandchildren, and two stepsons. Eunice stated to reporters that, “Even at the end, Hal always had a song in his head,” she said. “He was always writing notes, or asking me to take a note down.”



 

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