Saturday, September 1, 2012

Positive Quiddity: Lyricist Hal David

Harold Lane "Hal" David (May 25, 1921 – September 1, 2012) was an American lyricist. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He was best known for his collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach.
David was born in New York City, New York, and is credited with popular music lyrics beginning in the 1940s with material written for band leaders Sammy Kaye and Guy Lombardo. He worked with Morty Nevins of The Three Suns on four songs for the feature film Two Gals and a Guy (1951), starring Janis Paige and Robert Alda.

In 1957, David met composer Burt Bacharach at Famous Music in the Brill Building in New York. The two teamed up and wrote their first hit "The Story of My Life", recorded by MartyRobbins in 1957. Later that year Perry Como had a hit with their ""Magic Moments". Subsequently, Bacharach and David wrote some of the most enduring songs in American popular music, many for Dionne Warwick, but also for The Carpenters, Dusty Springfield, B.J. Thomas, Gene Pitney, Tom Jones, Jackie DeShannon, and others in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Bacharach and David hits included "Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head", "This Guy’s in Love with You", I’ll Never Fall in Love Again," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose", " Walk on By", "What the World Needs Now is Love", "I Say a Little Prayer", "[There’s] Always Something There to Remind Me", "One Less Bell to Answer", and "Anyone Who Had a Heart".

The duo's film work includes the Oscar-nominated title songs for "What’s New Pussycat?" and "Alfie"; "The Look of Love", from Casino Royale; and the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In addition, "Don’t Make Me Over", "[They Long to Be] Close to You", and "Walk on By" have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
David and Bacharach were awarded the 2011 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song bestowed by the Library of Congress, the first time a songwriting team was given the honor. David was recuperating from a recent illness and was unable to attend the Washington D.C. presentation ceremony in May 2012.

David's work with other composers included Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias' "To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before", with Albert Hammond; Sarah Vaughan's "Broken Hearted Melody", with Sherman Edwards; the 1962 Joanie Sommers hit "Johnny Get Angry", also with Edwards; and "We Have All the Time in the World", written with John Barry and sung by Louis Armstrong, for the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. David co-wrote with Paul Hampton the country standard "Sea of Heartbreak", a hit for Don Gibson and others.

David passed away in the morning hours of September 1, 2012 after complications from a stroke. He was 91.

Hal David's elder brother, Mack David, was also a lyricist and songwriter.

He was lyricist for the Tony-nominated 1968 Broadway musical Promises, Promises.

Popular Hal David Songs:

24 Hours from Tulsa, A House is Not a Home, Alfie, America Is, American Beauty Rose, Anyone Who Had a Heart, Blue on Blue, Close to You, Do You Know the Way to San Jose, Don't Make Me Over, I Say a Little Prayer, It Was Almost Like a Song, Johnny Get Angry, Magic Moments, Make It Easy on Yourself, Message to Michael, My Heart is an Open Book, One Less Bell to Answer, Open Your Arms to the World, Promises Promises, Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, Reach Out for Me, The April Fools, The Look of Love, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, There's Always Something There to Remind Me, This Guy's in Love With You, To All the Girls I've Loved Before, Trains and Boats and Planes, Walk on By, What the World Needs Now is Love, What's New Pussycat?, Wishin' and Hopin', Wives and Lovers, You'll Never Get to Heaven (If you Break My Heart)


Complete list of over 700 Hal David songs at:
Note from the Blog Author

I haven’t heard every version of every Hal David song, but the most talented renditions of all may be the Sergio Mendez and Brasil 66 bossa nova version of The Look of Love, Dionne Warwick’s singing of The Windows of the World, and Sarah Vaughan’s version of Broken Hearted Melody.

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