LOS ANGELES — Hal David, whose simple, heartfelt lyrics made a perfect fit with Burt Bacharach's quirky melodies and resulted in dozens of hit songs, including "Do You Know the Way to San Jose" and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head," died Saturday. He was 91.At least we'll always have the songs.
David died of complications from a stroke Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to his wife Eunice David.
He had suffered a major stroke in March and was stricken again on Tuesday, she said.
"Even at the end, Hal always had a song in his head," Eunice David said. "He was always writing notes, or asking me to take a note down, so he wouldn't forget a lyric."
David and Bacharach won an Oscar for "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" (from the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"), Grammys and Tonys for the songs from the hit Broadway musical "Promises, Promises," as well as other top 40 hits including "Close to You" and "That's What Friends Are For."
Many of the duo's lyrics and tunes continue to resonate in pop culture, including "I Say A Little Prayer, " "What The World Needs Now Is Love," and "This Guy's in Love with You," Their music was recorded by legendary singers including The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond and their longtime partner Dionne Warwick.
"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," ASCAP's current president, the songwriter Paul Williams, said in a statement. "It is no wonder that so many of his lyrics have become part of our everyday vocabulary and his songs... the backdrop of our lives."
I love that the image above was drawn by Al Hirschfeld for the NYT and contains "3 Ninas" - click to embiggen to see if you can find them.
And so it goes.