Burt Bacharach - A soundtrack to the Oscars
Burt Freeman Bacharach, born May 12, 1928, is an American singer–songwriter, composer, record producer and pianist. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri and is of German-Jewish decent.
Burt is well known for his top pop hit “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” Bacharach compositions typically boasted memorable melodies, unconventional and shifting time signatures, and atypical chord changes. His music combines elements of jazz, pop, Brazilian music and rock. In 1957, Bacharach was introduced to lyricist Hal David, and they shortly began their writing partnership. Almost a year later, they received a significant career break when their song "The Story of My Life" was recorded by Marty Robbins for Columbia Records, becoming a #1 hit on the U.S. Country charts in late 1957. Burt and lyricist Hal David have the honor of being the first songwriters in UK history to have written consecutive #1 hits.
Since 1967 he has received six Grammy Awards. He is most notably recognized as a Grammy winner for his hit song “That’s What Friends are For,” performed by Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Gladys Knight, and Stevie Wonder. He was nominated for Broadway's 1969 Tony Award for his music and lyrics as part of a Best Musical nomination for "Promises! Promises!" In 1972, Burt was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. 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. Burt shared that he’s “very lucky that so many of the songs I wrote were written at the time they were. A good song is still a good song, it's just so much harder now to make it exist and last” – Burt Bacharach.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Bacharach was featured in a dozen TV musical/variety specials videotaped in the UK for ITC, several of which were nominated for Emmy awards for direction. He was featured in the well-known movies Analyze This, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Austin Powers in Goldmember, and Bruce Almighty.
Other Notable Facts:
- 2006: Bacharach appeared as a celebrity performer and guest vocal coach for contestants on the television show, "American Idol."
- As of 2006, Bacharach had written a total of 70 Top 40 hits in the US, and 52 Top 40 hits in the UK.