|Height:||173 cm (5' 9'')|
|Birth Day:||May 12, 1928|
|Birth Place:||Kansas City, United States|
Heralded songwriter, musician, and producer who wrote numerous hits with lyricist Hal David from the 1950s until the 1980s. He wrote many popular songs, including 73 top 40 U.S. Billboard hit singles.
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He studied music at McGill University, the Mannes School of Music, and the Music Academy of the West in Montecito, California. He was instructed in composition by such notables as Darius Milhaud, Henry Cowell, and Bohuslav Martinů.
Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in the Kew Gardens section of New York City, graduating from Forest Hills High School in 1946. He is the son of Irma M. (née Freeman) and Mark Bertram "Bert" Bacharach, a well-known syndicated newspaper columnist. His mother was an amateur painter and songwriter who was responsible for making Bacharach learn piano during his childhood. His family was Jewish, but he says that they did not practice or give much attention to their religion. "But the kids I knew were Catholic", he adds. "I was Jewish but I didn't want anybody to know about it."
In 1956, at the age of 28, Bacharach's productivity increased when composer Peter Matz recommended him to Marlene Dietrich, who needed an arranger and conductor for her nightclub shows. He then became part-time music director for Dietrich, the actress and singer who had been an international screen star in the 1930s. They toured worldwide off and on until the early 1960s; when they were not touring, he wrote songs. As a result of his collaboration with Dietrich, he gained his first major recognition as a conductor and arranger.
In 1957, Bacharach and lyricist Hal David met while at the Brill Building in New York City, and began their writing partnership. They received a career breakthrough when their song "The Story of My Life" was recorded by Marty Robbins, becoming a number 1 hit on the U.S. Country Chart in 1957.
In 1961 Bacharach was credited as arranger and producer, for the first time on both label and sleeve, for the song Three Wheels on My Wagon, written jointly with Bob Hilliard for Dick Van Dyke.
In the early and mid-1960s, Bacharach wrote well over a hundred songs with David. In 1961 Bacharach discovered singer Dionne Warwick while she was a session accompanist. That year the two, along with Dionne's sister Dee Dee Warwick, released a single "Move It on the Backbeat" under the name Burt and the Backbeats. The lyrics for this Bacharach composition were provided by Hal David's brother Mack David. Dionne made her professional recording debut the following year with her first hit, "Don't Make Me Over".
Bacharach and David formed a writing partnership in 1963. Bacharach's career received a boost when singer Jerry Butler asked to record "Make it Easy on Yourself," and wanted him to direct the recording sessions. It became the first time he managed the entire recording process for one of his own songs.
Bacharach released his first solo album in 1965 on the Kapp Records label. "Hit Maker! Burt Bacharach Plays His Hits" was largely ignored in the US but rose to #3 on the UK album charts, where his version of "Trains and Boats and Planes" had become a top 5 single. In 1967, Bacharach signed as an artist with A&M Records, recording a mix of new material and re-arrangements of his best-known songs. He recorded for A&M until 1978.
Bacharach and David also collaborated with Broadway producer David Merrick on the 1968 musical Promises, Promises, which yielded two hits, including the title tune and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again." Bacharach and David wrote the song when the producer realized the play urgently needed another before its opening the next evening. Bacharach, who had just been released from the hospital after contracting pneumonia, was still sick, but worked with David's lyrics to write the song which was performed for the show's opening. It was later recorded by Dionne Warwick and was on the charts for several weeks.
The year 1969 marked, perhaps, the most successful Bacharach-David collaboration, the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", written for and prominently featured in the acclaimed film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The two were awarded a Grammy for Best Cast album of the year for "Promises, Promises" and the score was also nominated for a Tony award.
In 1969, Harry Betts arranged Bacharach's instrumental composition "Nikki" (named for Bacharach's daughter) into a new theme for the ABC Movie of the Week, a television series that ran on the U.S. network until 1976.
In 1971, Barbra Streisand appeared on "The Burt Bacharach Special," (aka "Singer Presents Burt Bacharach") where they discussed their careers and favorite songs and performed songs together. The other guests on the television special were dancer Rudolph Nureyev and singer Tom Jones.
In 1973, Bacharach and David wrote the score for Lost Horizon, a musical version of the 1937 film. The remake was a critical and commercial disaster and a flurry of lawsuits resulted between the composer and the lyricist, as well as from Warwick. She reportedly felt abandoned when Bacharach and David refused to work together further.
Bacharach tried several solo projects, including the 1977 album Futures, but the projects failed to yield hits. He and David reunited briefly in 1975 to write and produce other records.
Another of their hits, "That's What Friends Are For" in 1985, reunited Bacharach and Warwick. When asked about their coming together again, she explained:
Bacharach's third marriage was to lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, which lasted nine years (1982–1991). Bacharach and Bayer Sager collaborated on a number of musical pieces and adopted a son named Cristopher. Bacharach married his fourth wife, Jane Hansen, in 1993; they have two children, a son named Oliver, and a daughter named Raleigh. His autobiography, Anyone Who Had a Heart, was published in 2013.
Other artists continued to revive Bacharach's earlier hits in the 1980s and 1990s. Examples included Luther Vandross' recording of "A House is Not a Home"; Naked Eyes' 1983 pop hit version of "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me", and Ronnie Milsap's 1982 country version of "Any Day Now". Bacharach continued a concert career, appearing at auditoriums throughout the world, often with large orchestras. He occasionally joined Warwick for sold-out concerts in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York, where they performed at the Rainbow Room in 1996.
In 1998, Bacharach co-wrote and recorded a Grammy-winning album with Elvis Costello, Painted from Memory, on which the compositions began to take on the sound of his earlier work. The duo later reunited for Costello's 2018 album, Look Now, working on several tracks together.
In 2003, he teamed with singer Ronald Isley to release the album Here I Am, which revisited a number of his 1960s compositions in Isley's signature R&B style. Bacharach's 2005 solo album At This Time was a departure from past works in that Bacharach penned his own lyrics, some of which dealt with political themes. Guest stars on the album included Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright, and hip-hop producer Dr. Dre.
Bacharach has been married four times. His first marriage was to Paula Stewart and lasted five years (1953–1958). His second marriage was to actress Angie Dickinson, lasting for 15 years (1965–1980). Bacharach and Dickinson had a daughter named Nikki Bacharach, who struggled with Asperger's Syndrome and took her own life on January 4, 2007 at the age of 40.
In 2008, Bacharach opened the BBC Electric Proms at The Roundhouse in London, performing with the BBC Concert Orchestra accompanied by guest vocalists Adele, Beth Rowley and Jamie Cullum. The concert was a retrospective look back at his six-decade career. In early 2009, Bacharach worked with Italian soul singer Karima Ammar and produced her debut single "Come In Ogni Ora", which became a #4 hit.
Bacharach appeared as a celebrity performer and guest vocal coach for contestants on the television show, "American Idol" during the 2006 season, during which an entire episode was dedicated to his music. In 2008, Bacharach featured in the BBC Electric Proms at The Roundhouse with the BBC Concert Orchestra. He performed similar shows in the same year at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and with the Sydney Symphony.
In June 2015, Bacharach performed in the UK at the Glastonbury Festival, and a few weeks later appeared on stage at the Menier Chocolate Factory to launch 'What's It All About? Bacharach Reimagined', a 90-minute live arrangement of his hits.
In 2016, Bacharach, at 88 years old, composed and arranged his first original score in 16 years for the film A Boy Called Po (along with composer Joseph Bauer). The score was released on September 1, 2017. The entire 30-minute score was recorded in just two days at Capitol Studios. The theme song Dancing With Your Shadow, was composed by Bacharach, with lyrics by Billy Mann, and performed by Sheryl Crow. After seeing the film, a true story about a child with Autism, Bacharach decided he wanted to write a score for it, as well as a theme song, in tribute to his daughter Nikki — who had gone undiagnosed with Asperger syndrome, and who committed suicide at the age of 40. Bacharach asked Director John Asher to see the film and offered to score it. "It touched me very much," the composer says. "I had gone through this with Nikki. Sometimes you do things that make you feel. It's not about money or rewards."
Though not known for political songs, Live To See Another Day was released in 2018. "Dedicated to survivors of school gun violence" proceeds for the release went to charity Sandy Hook Promise, a non-profit organization founded and led by several family members whose loved ones were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. A co-write with Rudy Pérez it also featured the Miami Symphony Orchestra.
On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Burt Bacharach among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
In July 2020, Bacharach collaborated with songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Tashian on the EP "Blue Umbrella", Bacharach's first new material in 15 years.
Currently, Burt Bacharach is 94 years, 1 months and 16 days old. Burt Bacharach will celebrate 95th birthday on a Friday 12th of May 2023.
Find out about Burt Bacharach birthday activities in timeline view here.