Monday, April 15, 2024

Burt Bacharach Won 2 Oscars for Best Song, But No Grammy Song of the Year for His 60s Classics


Burt Bacharach won only one Grammy Award for Song of the Year. That was “That’s What Friends Are For,” in 1987. And that’s based a lot on the deep sentiment over the AIDS crisis.

But for everyone who complains about the Grammys now, think of this: Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote dozens of hits, all classics we hear on the radio day and night, and never got a Grammy.

“Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” and “Arthur’s Theme” each on Oscars, but no Grammys. Ditto everything from “I Say a Little Prayer” to “Close to You” to “Walk on By,” “Always Something There to Remind Me,” “What the World Needs Now,” “A House is Not a Home,” “This Guy’s in Love with You,” “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” and so on.

How is that possible?

In 2008, after having lived through this embarrassment, Burt was awarded “Greatest Living Composer” by the Grammys, which couldn’t have been so nice for Stephen Sondheim, Paul McCartney, or a dozen other people. But it was a sop to Burt who was already in his 80s.

As for his personal life, Bacharach had four wives including actress Angie Dickinson and famed songwriter Carole Bayer Sager. He has two living children with his fourth wife, Jane. An older daughter, who was autistic, committed suicide.

But what amazing life. There was never a decade when he wasn’t popular, and his music will last well beyond the half century or more when it originated.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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