Hal David, lyricist behind string of memorable hits, dies aged 91

Best know for partnership with Burt Bacharach on songs such as Walk On By and I Say A Little Prayer

Songwriter Hal David, famous for penning dozens of top 40 hits with composer Burt Bacharach, has died aged 91.

The lyricist, who wrote many timeless songs including Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head, Walk On By, and I Say A Little Prayer, passed away on Saturday morning in Los Angeles after suffering complications from a stroke.

Along with Bacharach, he wrote classic hits for a variety of artists from the 1960s and beyond including The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond and Dionne Warwick. Songwriter Paul Williams, president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, paid tribute to David saying: "As a lyric writer, Hal was simple, concise and poetic, conveying volumes of meaning in the fewest possible words and always in service to the music.

"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."

After serving in an entertainment unit during the second world war, he wrote lyrics for several composers before joining Bacharach. The pair scored their first big hit with Magic Moments – a million-selling record for Perry Como.

Earlier this year, David and Bacharach received the Library of Congress Gershwin prize for popular song during a White House tribute concert attended by President Barack Obama.

David was married to wife Eunice David for 25 years. He had two sons, Jim and Craig, from a previous marriage to Anne Rauchman.


Cass Jones

The GuardianTramp

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