Iconic Composer Burt Bacharach, Dead at 94
By Abb Jones
Burt Bacharach, one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, has died at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 94.
The creator of a whopping 73 U.S. and 52 U.K. Top 40 hits, Bacharach is best known for hit songs he wrote for Dionne Warwick, The Carpenters and Dusty Springfield. The Kansas City-born songwriter/composer first became known as the pianist for the iconic Marlene Dietrich, whom he later admitted had great stage presence but not a great voice.
Among Bacharach’s many classic hits are Dionne Warwick’s “Walk on By,” “What the World Needs Now,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” “Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” and “I Say a Little Prayer,” Dusty Springfield’s “The Look of Love,” and The Carpenters’ “Close to You.”
Bacharach would go on to receive six Grammys and three Oscars over the course of his seven-decade career – two of his Oscars in 1970 for Best Original Song for the B.J. Thomas hit “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head” and Best Original Score for the film in which it was featured, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In 1981, Bacharach won a third Oscar with Carol Bayer Sager, Peter Allen and Christopher Cross for “Arthur’s Theme” from the Dudley Moore comedy Arthur.
Bacharach remained active throughout his career, winning his most recent Grammy in 2020 for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for “Blue Umbrella,” a collaboration with songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Tashian.
“When you wind up being married four times, there are a lot of bodies strewn in your wake.” – Burt Bacharach on his marriages
Bacharach was married four times – most notably, 15 years to second wife/actress Angie Dickinson and then for nine years to third wife/lyricist Carole Bayer Sager – both of whom remained lifelong friends with him. He is survived by his wife of 19 years, Jane Hansen, their two adult children Oliver and Raleigh and his son Cristopher with Sager. Nikki, Bacharach’s daughter with Dickinson, took her own life in 2007 at the age of 40.
Write a comment