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Hal David, Burt Bacharach’s music partner, dies at 91

Hal David, the renowned pop music lyricist whose prolific collaboration with composer Burt Bacharachproduced a wealth of enduringly memorable hits in the 1960s and early ’70s, including “Walk on By,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

David died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of complications from a stroke, announced his wife, Eunice.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., David wrote a number of hit songs with other collaborators before teaming with Bacharach in 1956. They scored their first hit together in 1957 with Marty Robbins’ recording of “The Story of My Life,” which was followed by a 1958 hit for Perry Como, “Magic Moments.”

VIDEO: 10 iconic Hal David songs

The songwriters continued to collaborate with others over the next few years but began an exclusive partnership after discovering their “magical interpreter,” as David once described her: a young backup singer named Dionne Warwick.

In 1962, Warwick recorded their song “Don’t Make Me Over,” which became her first hit single. Her long string of pop classic hits by David and Bacharach includes “Walk on By,” “Alfie,” “Reach out for Me,” “Message to Michael,” “Trains and Boats and Planes,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.”

David and Bacharach went their separate ways in the early 1970s. David went on to collaborate with other composers, including Albert Hammond, with whom he wrote “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before.”

In May, David and Bacharach were honored by President Obama as “two kings of songwriting” and were presented the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, the nation’s highest prize for popular music.


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