Legendary Songwriter Hal David Dead at 91

With Burt Bacharach, he wrote dozens of classics
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 1, 2012 4:42 PM CDT
In this June 16, 2011, file photo, Hal David arrives at the 42nd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards in New York.   (AP Photo/Charles Sykes, File)
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(Newser) – Hal David, who along with partner Burt Bacharach penned dozens of timeless songs for movies, television, and a variety of recording artists in the 1960s and beyond, has died. He was 91. David reportedly died of complications from a stroke this morning in Los Angeles. Bacharach and David wrote many top 40 hits including "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," "Close to You," and "That's What Friends Are For." "As a lyric writer, Hal was simple, concise and poetic—conveying volumes of meaning in fewest possible words and always in service to the music," says songwriter Paul Williams.

David and Bacharach met when both worked in the Brill Building, New York's legendary Tin Pan Alley song factory, and In 1962 they began writing for a young singer named Dionne Warwick. Bacharach and David also wrote hit songs for numerous others, including The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, and Neil Diamond. The hit-making team broke up after the 1973, sued each other, and settled their lawsuits out of court. "Try and tell a narrative," David once said to explain his success as a lyricist. "Try to say things as simply as possible, which is probably the most difficult thing to do."

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