Appreciating all that makes America special

Music: Burt Bacharach

In the 1960s, there were three channels of music. The British invasion, Motown, and Burt Bacharach songs. Uploaded by

So many of the people on this list have multiple talents, any of which could have made them a success. Burt Bacharach is a good example. He’s a fabulous songwriter (music only, with lyrics usually supplied by Hal David or third wife Carol Bayer Sager), a talented musician, and a successful producer. What we know him for most, though, are his songs.

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Bacharach and David met in 1957, had a few modest hits stateside, and then in 1961 started writing for a conservatory-trained vocalist named Dionne Warwick. Over the next twenty years, Bacharach wrote or produced twelve songs for Warwick that reached the top 20. The two are intertwined in our memories, and after a period of estrangement, got back together to record Bacharach’s song “That’s What Friends Are For.”

A number of films and stage productions during the sixties and seventies featured the music of Burt Bacharach. He scored Casino Royale in 1967, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969, and the Broadway show Promises, Promises in between. Butch Cassidy alone would place Bacharach in the top five percent of film scores of all time.

It’s Bacharach’s songs, however that have taken a prominent place in American popular culture. Here are some of the hits he’s written:

“Baby, It’s You” (1962, The Shirelles) • “Any Day Now” (1982, Ronnie Milsap) • “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” (1964, Gene Pitney) • “Only Love Can Break a Heart” (1962, Gene Pitney) • “Don’t Make Me Over” (1962, Dionne Warwick) • “Make It Easy on Yourself” (1962, Jerry Butler) • “Blue on Blue” (1963, Bobby Vinton) • “Anyone Who Had a Heart” (1963, Dionne Warwick) • “Close to You” (1970, The Carpenters) • “Wives and Lovers” (1963, Jack Jones) • “Wishin’ and Hopin’ (1964, Dusty Springfield) • “Walk on By” (1964, Dionne Warwick) • “Always Something There to Remind Me” (1967, Dionne Warwick) • “Message to Michael” (1966, Dionne Warwick) • “What the World Needs Now Is Love” (1965, Jackie DeShannon) • “What’s New Pussycat” (1965, Tom Jones) • “Alfie” (1967, Dionne Warwick) • “I Say a Little Prayer” (1967, Dionne Warwick) • “The Look of Love” (1967, Dusty Springfield) • “One Less Bell to Answer” (1970, Fifth Dimension) • “This Guy’s In Love with You” (1968, Herb Alpert) • “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” (1968, Dionne Warwick) • “Promises, Promises” (1968, Dionne Warwick) • “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” (1969, B.J. Thomas) • “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” (1970, Dionne Warwick) • “Arthur’s Theme” (1981, Christopher Cross) • “On My Own” (1986, Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald)



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