He adored Dusty, drove Cilla to exhaustion and had so many hits he lost count. You can see why he might have trouble keeping track. He will be 91 on Sunday, but still performs, tours and writes, with new material set for release this year.
The Music of Burt Bacharach
Songwriters of the nineties often tend to belong to one special niche in the music process. One of the reasons for this is the fact that many are writing principally for themselves as artists, thus tending to fall into a single category. Burt Bacharach, who has been writing song hits in many regions of the pop landscape for four decades, is decidedly not a member of this special club. Bacharach, in fact, has enjoyed major hits in all genres of music, including top 40, rhythm and blues, country, film scores and soundtracks. He is a multi-faceted composer enjoying credits with a host of major collaborators, particularly Hal David. Born in Missouri, Bacharach did most of his growing up in New York City, where during his elementary school years, he began taking piano lessons. A familiar scenario indeed, which for many, ends almost where it starts with not enough will to practice and too much homework from school. Bacharach, in fact, ate it up and, already influenced by one of the significant fads of that time, be-bop jazz and such practitioners as Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, he graduated from high school and continued his education at Montreal's McGill University, the New School for Social Research in New York and the Mannes School of Music, also in New York. During the earliest phase of his career, Bacharach worked as accompanist and conductor for Marlene Dietrich's night club act.
Who Is Burt Bacharach?
A six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner, Bacharach's songs have been recorded by more than 1, different artists. His music is characterized by unusual chord progressions, influenced by his background in jazz harmony , and uncommon selections of instruments for small orchestras. Most of Bacharach's and David's hits were written specifically for and performed by Dionne Warwick , but earlier associations from to saw the composing duo work with Marty Robbins , Perry Como , Gene McDaniels , and Jerry Butler. Thomas , the Carpenters , among numerous other artists. He arranged, conducted, and produced much of his recorded output. A significant figure in easy listening ,  Bacharach is described by writer William Farina as "a composer whose venerable name can be linked with just about every other prominent musical artist of his era. He is the son of Irma M. Bacharach showed a keen interest in jazz as a teenager, disliking his classical piano lessons, and often used a fake ID to gain admission into 52nd Street nightclubs. During this period he studied a range of music, including jazz harmony , which has since been important to songs which are generally considered pop music. Bacharach cites Milhaud as his biggest influence, under whose guidance he wrote a "Sonatina for Violin, Oboe and Piano.
Bacharach has also received six Grammys and, as a huge pop chart presence, seen his songs remade and sampled across a variety of genres. Bacharach served as Marlene Dietrich 's accompanist from to , traveling with her on tour. The legendary actress and performer came to adore the burgeoning songwriter. Though the two had markedly different personas, Bacharach also began to work regularly with Hal David in the early s.