Hal David

Hal David
Jemal Countess / WireImage


Hal David
Music: South side of the 6700 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born May 25, 1921 in New York, NY
Died Sept. 1, 2012 of complications from a stroke in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Calif.

Hal David started writing songs more than 70 years ago and has charted hits across five decades, but the widely lauded lyricist would be a candidate for Walk of Fame induction on the merits of his output in 1964 alone.

During that year, when the Beatles and other British Invasion acts were mounting their assault of the U.S. pop charts, David and composer Burt Bacharach provided a steady stream of hits to a variety of artists, among them Dionne Warwick (“Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Walk On By,” “A House Is Not a Home”), Dusty Springfield (“Wishin’ and Hopin’”), Jack Jones (“Wives and Lovers”) and Lou Johnson (“[There’s] Always Something There to Remind Me,” “Message to Martha”).

And that list hardly scratches the surface of the astonishing trove of contemporary standards that placed the David-Bacharach team in the esteemed company of such venerated songwriting collaborators as George and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart and Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar.

Their songbook also includes “I Say A Little Prayer,” “Alfie,” “What the World Needs Now,” “Make It Easy On Yourself” and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” songs that wedded David’s plain-spoken but emotionally complex lyrics to Bacharach’s elegant and sophisticated melodies and harmonies.

After he and Bacharach went their separate ways in the early 1970s, David returned to the charts with “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” the 1984 hit for Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias that he wrote with composer Albert Hammond.

He has served as president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), been inducted into multiple halls of fame and received the Recording Academy’s Grammy Trustees Award along with nearly every prestigious songwriting award that exists. Most recently David was named as the recipient, with Bacharach, of the 2012 Gershwin Prize bestowed by the Library of Congress.

David died Sept. 1, 2012, of complications from a stroke at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 91.

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1965 Best Song What's New Pussycat? - Burt Bacharach, Hal David Nomination*
    1966 Best Song Alfie - Burt Bacharach, Hal David Nomination*
    1967 Best Song Casino Royale - Burt Bacharach, Hal David Nomination*
    1969 Best Song Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - Burt Bacharach, Hal David Win*
    * A joint nomination shared with other people.

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