The music world has lost one of the greatest and most celebrated lyricists of all time with the pasing of Hal David.
The man who wrote dozens of classic songs with Burt Bacharach, including Walk On By, (They Long To Be) Close To You and I Say A Little Prayer, passed away aged 91 at the weekend in Los Angeles from complications from a stroke.
A lengthy career for David began back in the 1940s when he wrote lyrics for band leader Sammy Kaye and for Guy Lombardo, but it was his pairing with Bacharach at New York's famous Brill Building where he reached genuine legendary status. An early hit for them was Magic Moments, which topped the UK chart for Perry Como, a song preceded at No 1 by another Bacahrach-David compostion, Story Of My Life, recorded by British crooner Michael Holliday.
Dionne Warwick proved to be a very important part of the two songwriters' success with them penning many hits for her during the 1960s, including Walk On By, Do You Know The Way To San Jose and Anyone Who Had A Heart, which become a UK chart-topper when covered by Cilla Black in 1964, the same year Sandie Shaw's version of There Is Always Something There To Remind Me reached No 1. The same song was covered two decades later by UK band Naked Eyes and became one of the big hits of the so-called second British Invasion of the States in the 1980s.
Some of their biggest hits came as part of films, including What's New Pussycat (recorded by Tom Jones), Alfie (a number of versions, including by Barbra Streisand and one by Cilla Black as produced by George Martin), The Look Of Love (recorded by Dusty Springfield among others) and Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and whose version from the movie by B J Thomas was a Billboard Hot 100 No 1 in early 1970, the year The Carpenters took Bacharach and David's (They Long To Be) Close To You to the top as well.
Among other composers David worked with was Albert Hammond, a partnership which produced Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias's global smash To All The Girls I've Loved Before, while he was the lyricist on John Barry's We Have All The Time In The World, which was recorded by Louis Armstrong from the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. He also enjoyed Broadway success with the musical comedy Promises, Promises, which was based on Billy Wilder's film The Apartment. The original cast recording won a Grammy.
Among the countless other honours across his glittering career was being awarded the 2011 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from the Librray of Congress alongside Bacharach. Unfortunately, because of illness he was unable to attend.