Burt Bacharach

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About Burt Bacharach

A Top 40 hitmaker across five decades, Burt Bacharach was one of the most inimitable voices in pop songwriting in the second half of the 20th century. The songwriter and pianist was born in 1928 in Kansas City but grew up in New York City, where his variegated musical coming-of-age involved sneaking into bebop clubs and studying with vanguard modernist composers like Darius Milhaud and Henry Cowell. While sporadically touring as Marlene Dietrich’s conductor and arranger in the late '50s, Bacharach committed himself in earnest to writing and selling songs. He and his creative partner, lyricist Hal David, would go on to set a new gold standard for pop songwriting in the '60s with Top 10 hits for Dionne Warwick (most prolifically), Tom Jones, Gene Pitney, B.J. Thomas, and others that are now regarded as standards. With songs like “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” and “I Say a Little Prayer,” Bacharach became known for his effortlessly catchy melodies and his use of colorful extended chords, evidencing bossa nova and cool jazz influences. (He also found success in film scoring with 1967’s Casino Royale and 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.) The '70s and '80s cemented his wider cultural reputation through his own solo releases, frequent TV and film appearances, and production gigs. At the end of the century, a new, more alternative-minded generation of music fans was drawn to Bacharach's inventive songcraft and cool aesthetic by way of his album Painted from Memory, a 1998 collaboration with Elvis Costello.

Kansas City, MO, United States
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