Wednesday, June 12, 2024

RIP Burt Bacharach, Towering Composer of Pop Classics Was 94, Known for His Hits and His Swagger


Burt Bacharach has died at 94. The towering composer of pop classics like “Raindrops Keep Fallin on My Head,” “Close to You,” and dozens of Dionne Warwick sung hits wrote his songs with lyricist Hal David. They are truly part of the American culture.

Bacharach and David won an Oscar for “Raindrops” and dozens of other awards. And Burt was no wallflower. He saw himself as a bit of a Hollywood swinger and a raconteur. He sang — even with his froggy intonations — on variety shows all the time. He even appeared in the “Austin Powers” movies as himself. He was the epitome of 60s cool with his marriage to Angie Dickinson. Later he was married to songwriter Carole Bayer Sager and they wrote a bunch of hits together including “That’s What Friends Are For.”

Bacharach’s death comes just before the issue of a box set detailing his long collaboration with rocker Elvis Costello.

Burt dies with a lot of awards, and a massive legacy, but no award from the Kennedy Center Honors. They just didn’t get it. But the world did, and mourns a superstar of music.

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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