Famed Songwriter, Hal David 1921-2012

From “Always Something There To Remind Me” to “That’s What Friends Are For”, his songs are well known and plenty.

Harold Lane “Hal” David (May 25, 1921 – September 1, 2012) was an American lyricist. He grew up in BrooklynNew York City. He was best known for his collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach and his association with Dionne Warwick.

David was born to a Jewish family in New York City, the son of Lina (née Goldberg) and Gedalier David, a deli owner. He is credited with popular music lyrics, beginning in the 1940s with material written for bandleader Sammy Kaye and for Guy Lombardo. He worked with Morty Nevins of The Three Suns on four songs for the feature film Two Gals and a Guy (1951), starring Janis Paige and Robert Alda.

In 1957, David met composer Burt Bacharach at Famous Music in the Brill Building in New York. The two teamed up and wrote their first hit “The Story of My Life“, recorded by Marty Robbins in 1957. Later that year Perry Como had a hit with their “Magic Moments“. Subsequently, in the 1960s and early 1970s Bacharach and David wrote some of the most enduring songs in American popular music, many for Dionne Warwick but also for The CarpentersDusty SpringfieldB. J. ThomasGene PitneyTom JonesJackie DeShannonand others.

Bacharach and David hits included “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head“, “This Guy’s in Love with You“, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again“, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose“, “Walk On By“, “What the World Needs Now Is Love“, “I Say a Little Prayer“, “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me“, “One Less Bell to Answer“, and “Anyone Who Had a Heart“.

The duo’s film work includes the Oscar-nominated title songs for “What’s New Pussycat?” and “Alfie“, “The Look of Love“, from Casino Royale; and the Oscar-winning “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In addition, “Don’t Make Me Over“, “(They Long to Be) Close to You“, and “Walk On By” have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

David and Bacharach were awarded the 2011 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song bestowed by the Library of Congress, the first time a songwriting team was given the honor. David was recuperating from a recent illness and was unable to attend the Washington D.C. presentation ceremony in May 2012.

David’s work with other composers includes Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias’s “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before“, with Albert Hammond; Sarah Vaughan’s “Broken Hearted Melody“, with Sherman Edwards; the 1962 Joanie Sommers hit “Johnny Get Angry”. also with Edwards; and “We Have All the Time in the World”, written with John Barry and sung by Louis Armstrong for the 1969 James Bond filmOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service. With Paul Hampton, David co-wrote the country standard “Sea of Heartbreak“, a hit for Don Gibsonand others.

David died in the morning hours of September 1, 2012, due to a stroke. He was 91.