Legendary lyricist Hal David, 91, dies


Hal David, an Oscar and Grammy-winning lyricist who produced dozens of hit songs with composer Burt Bacharach, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 91.
David died of complications from a stroke, according to Jim Steinblatt, spokesman for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers that the songwriter once led.
Bacharach and David’s long series of hits during their collaboration from the 1950s through the 1970s included Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, What The World Needs Now Is Love and What’s New Pussycat?
As a lyric writer, Hal was simple, concise and poetic — conveying volumes of meaning in (the) fewest possible words and always in service to the music,” ASCAP president and chairman Paul Williams said in a statement.
“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.”
Music legends such as The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand recorded the duo’s music, along with their longtime partner Dionne Warwick.
In May, President Barack Obama presented David and Bacharach the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song during a White House musical tribute.
David, who was president of the ASCAP from 1980 to 1986, led the Songwriters Hall of Fame as chairman and CEO for a decade ending in 2011, and was chairman emeritus until his death.
His first major hit came somewhat late in life — with Magic Moments, recorded in 1957 with Perry Como — when David was already in his late 30s.
He also found success on Broadway, with musicals like Promises, Promises, which ran for 1,281 performances after debuting in 1968.
Revived on Broadway in 2010, it was nominated for a Tony Award and won a Grammy Award for Cast Album of the Year.
Some of their popular songs were also commissioned for movie scores and themes, including Alfie, What’s New Pussycat, Casino Royale, The April Fools and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Their hit song Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, written for Butch Cassidy, received the 1969 Academy Award for Best Song.
The lyrical duo also got a nomination for Best Song Oscars for The Look of Love from Casino Royale and the title songs from Alfie and What’s New Pussycat? David’s words can also be found in the popular wedding song (They Long to Be) Close to You.

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