May 12: Burt Bacharach
Songwriter Burt Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri on this date in 1928. His best-known hits, written with lyricist Hal David, include “Blue on Blue” (Bobby Vinton), “The Look of Love” (Dusty Springfield), “Baby, It’s You” (The Shirelles), “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (Gene Pitney), “What the World Needs Now Is Love” (Jackie DeShannon), “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” (for the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), and numerous songs written for Dionne Warwick. Bacharach was a graduate of Forest Hills High School in New York and McGill University in Montreal. He has had seventy Top Forty hits and won three Academy Awards, eight Grammys, one Emmy, and the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Several of his numbers have become jazz standards. His memoir, Anyone Who Had a Heart, is scheduled for publication this autumn. To watch him play “Close to You” with Barbra Streisand in 1971, look below.
“That is why all the girls in town/Follow you all around./Just like me, they long to be/close to you.” —Burt Bacharach and Hal David