- NAME: Burt Bacharach
- OCCUPATION: Songwriter, Pianist, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: May 12, 1928 (Age: 85)
- Did You Know?: Burt Bacharach spent several years as Marlene Dietrich's accompanist.
- EDUCATION: McGill University, Music Academy of the West, New School for Social Research, Mannes School of Music
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Kansas City, Missouri
- Full Name: Burt Bacharach
- AKA: Burt F. Bacharach
- ZODIAC SIGN: Taurus
Best Known For
Songwriter Burt Bacharach is the man behind hits like "What the World Needs Now Is Love," "What's New Pussycat?" and "That's What Friends Are For."
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Burt Bacharach was born on May 12, 1928, in Kansas City, Missouri. Starting in the 1950s, he found success as a songwriter; working with Hal David, Bacharach wrote 1960s hits such as "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head." He has also written a Broadway musical and worked on movie themes and scores. Bacharach has received three Academy Awards and six Grammys for his work.
"I've always believed if it's a good tune people will find a way to move to it."
"Burt Bacharach is the ultimate cool American."
Burt Bacharach was born on May 12, 1928, in Kansas City, Missouri, but grew up in New York City. He studied music at, among other places, the Mannes School of Music and McGill University. After a stint in the U.S. Army—during which time he played piano and arranged music for a dance band—he embarked upon a career as a songwriter at the end of the 1950s.
Bacharach worked in the famous Brill Building, where numerous songwriters cranked out hits. There, Bacharach wrote the music for Perry Como's "Magic Moments," as well as "The Story of My Life" for Marty Robbins. He happened to work on those songs with lyricist Hal David, who would become Bacharach's full-time partner in just a few years.
Though Bacharach served as Marlene Dietrich's accompanist from 1958 to 1964, traveling with her on tour, he began to work regularly with David in the early 1960s. It was around that time that Bacharach heard back-up singer Dionne Warwick perform. He was impressed by her talent, and Warwick was soon interpreting many of the pair's songs, including the popular "Don't Make Me Over" and "I Say a Little Prayer." Between 1962 and 1968, Warwick took 15 of the duo's songs into the Top 40.
Bacharach next branched out into films. Along with David, he wrote the theme songs for What's New Pussycat? and Alfie. In 1968, Bacharach received a Grammy for his instrumental arrangements on Alfie. The score for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) earned Bacharach another Grammy, as well as an Academy Award. With David, Bacharach won his second Oscar for that film's "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head."
In addition to film work and hit songs, Bacharach and David wrote a musical: Promises, Promises. It was a success on Broadway and the show's album won a Grammy. In 1970, The Carpenters reached No. 1 on the U.S. charts with "(They Long to Be) Close to You." Along with his continued success as a songwriter, Bacharach released his own album, Burt Bacharach (1971), which sold well. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972.
Bacharach's success dimmed slightly as the 1970s progressed. Following a disagreement about royalties for Lost Horizon, a science fiction movie musical, he ended his partnership with David. The dispute turned out to have been unnecessary, as the film bombed at the box office.
Though his collaboration with David was over, Bacharach kept working with different songwriting partners. In 1982, he won his third Academy Award for "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)." "That's What Friends Are For" was a No.
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