Hal David, Burt Bacharach’s Songwriting Partner, Dead at 91

Lyricist took the pop world by storm in the 1960s with hits such as "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head" and "Walk on By"

Last Updated: September 2, 2012 @ 10:15 AM


Hal David, the award-winning lyricist who partnered with Burt Bacharach to create hits like “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" and “I Say a Little Prayer,” died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

David (pictured at right above, along with Bacharach and singer Dionne Warwick) suffered a stroke and died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The son of Austrian immigrants, his career took off after “Magic Moments,” sung by Perry Como, broke the top 10 in 1958. David then teamed up with Burt Bacharach for a successful collaboration that spanned decades, generated dozens of successful songs – “Alfie,” “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” among them — and made Dionne Warwick into a star. 

Bacharach and David also got the Academy’s attention with their catchy classic “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” which was featured in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and led to an Oscar win for the duo in 1970.

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They also landed a Grammy for the musical “Promises, Promises,” which ran for three years on Broadway.

Other famous interpreters of their music included Dusty Springfield, the Carpenters, Tom Jones and Herb Alpert.

He and Bacharach were awarded the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in 2011, the first time a songwriting team won that honor. They parted ways in the early 1970s. David went on to work with other composers.

With Albert Hammond, he wrote the hit "To All the Girls I've Loved Before."

Eunice David, the songwriter's widow, who married him in 1988, told Reuters she used to watch him sit in an old rocking chair and write on a legal pad.

"All of a sudden, I'd look up and there it was filled with lyrics," she told Reuters. "It never ceased to amaze me how that happened."

David served as president of ASCAP from 1980 to 1986.

He is survived by his wife, sons Jim and Craig, three grandchildren and two stepsons.