Burt Bacharach

Legendary Burt Bacharach, composer, songwriter, arranger, pianist, and producer…RIP!

Text by Dawoud Kringle

Burt Bacharach

By Phil Guest from Bournemouth, UK

The music world is in mourning following the news of the death of Burt Bacharach.

Bacharach started his music career after he met Vic Damone in the army in 1950. He worked with Damone for three years following his discharge. In 1956, he got a break when, after working with several musicians, he was introduced to Marlene Dietrich. He worked as her arranger, conductor, and musical director, and toured the world with her.

After meeting lyricist Hal David at the Brill Building in New York City, he got more high profile jobs with singers like Marty Robbins, Perry Como, and The Drifters.

From the 1960s onward, Bacharach wrote several hit singles for Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass, Barbara Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Tom Jones, Neil Diamond, Patti Labelle, Roberta Flack, Stevie Wonder, BJ Thomas (with the hit Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head), and many others. Jazz musicians such as Stan Getz, Grant Green, and Wes Montomgery covered his songs. He also composed for films such as Casino Royale and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and even made cameo appearances in all three Austin Powers movies. He performed many concerts throughout the world as a featured artist throughout his life, won several Grammy, Academy, and Emmy Awards, released several albums as a leader, and was featured in several tribute albums.

Bacharach’s music displayed brilliant compositional and arranging skills. He made liberal use of jazz harmonies, syncopated rhythmic patterns, irregular phrasing, odd and changing time signatures, and innovative instrumentation and vocal arrangements.

On Wednesday, February 8th, 2023, composer, songwriter, arranger, pianist, and producer Burt Bacharach died of natural causes. He was 94 years old.

MFM salutes the memory and legacy of Burt Bacharach.