Burt Bacharach: legendary composer dies, aged 94

9 February 2023, 15:33 | Updated: 9 February 2023, 15:43

Burt Bacharach during his Pyramid Stage performance at Glastonbury in 2015
Burt Bacharach during his Pyramid Stage performance at Glastonbury in 2015. Picture: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

The death has been announced of the man behind such classic songs as I Say A Little Prayer, (They Long To Be) Close To You, Walk On By and dozens more.

By Radio X

Burt Bacharach, the composer behind dozens of classic songs from Walk On By to I Say A Little Prayer, has died aged 94.

His publicist Tina Brausam told The Washington Post that Bacharach died of natural causes on Wednesday (8th February) at home in Los Angeles.

Bacharach, often in collaboration with lyricist Hal David, was responsible for pop hits like (They Long To Be) Close To You, I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself and Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head.

Dionne Warwick had a string of hits with Bacharach and David numbers, including Walk On By, Anyone Who Had A Heart, I Say a Little Prayer, I'll Never Fall in Love Again and Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach in the studio in London, November 1964
Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach in the studio in London, November 1964. Picture: Bela Zola/Mirrorpix/Getty Images

Bacharach composed the soundtrack of the 1967 James Bond film Casino Royale, which included The Look Of Love as recorded by Dusty Springfield. Baby It's You, originally recorded by The Shirelles in 1960 was later covered by The Beatles on their debut album Please Please Me.

Other hits that Bacharach was involved with include:

  • I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself (made famous by Dusty Springfield and later recorded by The White Stripes)
  • Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa (recorded by Gene Pitney)
  • (There's) Always Something There To Remind Me (recorded by Sandie Shaw)
  • What's New Pussycat (recorded by Tom Jones)
  • Alfie (recorded by Cilla Black)
  • On My Own (recorded by Michael McDonald and Patti LeBelle)

In 1970, he won an Academy Award for Best Original Song and Best Original Score for the film Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and its hit Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head.

He won another Oscar for Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do) in 1981. Bacharach also won six Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award.

Burt Bacharach and Hal David at the 1970 Oscars: one of the greatest songwriting teams of all time.
Burt Bacharach and Hal David at the 1970 Oscars: one of the greatest songwriting teams of all time. Picture: Getty

Later in his career, Bacharach worked with Elvis Costello, Sheryl Crow and Dr Dre and in 2015, performed live on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.

Bacharach was married four times - his last wife was Jane Hansen, with whom he had a son, Oliver, and a daughter, Raleigh.

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