Monday, June 17, 2024

Dionne Warwick Says a Little Prayer for Burt Bacharach: “Burt’s transition is like losing a family member”


Dionne Warwick has posted her thoughts on the passing of Burt Bacharach to Twitter:

“Burt’s transition is like losing a family member. These words I’ve been asked to write are being written with sadness over the loss of my Dear Friend and my Musical Partner. On the lighter side we laughed a lot and had our run ins, but always found a way to let each other know our family, like roots, were the most important part of our relationship. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family, letting them know he is now peacefully resting and I too will miss him.”

Dionne, Burt, and Hal David had an unprecedented collaboration, scoring dozens of hits like “I Say a Little Prayer” and “Walk on By.” She was their muse, and she had no other writers throughout the Sixties. Most artists wouldn’t even attempt a Bacharach- David song unless Warwick had done it first.

The cracks in their relationship only started to show in 1970, when the Carpenters released “Close to You” and BJ Thomas recorded “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.” By 1974 Warwick hit it big with The Spinners on “Then Came You.” She went through a dry spell until Clive Davis signed her to Arista in 1979 and a whole new chapter began.

But Bacharach also hit a dry spell. After the Fifth Dimension hit number 1 with “One Less Bell to Answer,” the team took a backseat to 70s classic rock and the advent of the singer songwriters like Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Carole King.

There was also a lawsuit filed by Warwick against the pair of songwriters. She’d signed a deal at Warner Bros. Records that was contingent upon them writing for her. But the team suffered a setback after working on a movie bomb, “Lost Horizon.” They stopped working for a while and reneged on their promise to Warwick. Somehow it was all settled out of court.

Meantime, the Warwick era needed time to settle in and become classic. It happened pretty fast, as the records never went out of style all that time. They never have, to this day, and never will.

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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