Legendary lyricist Hal David passed away in an LA hospital yesterday following complications from a stroke.
In the 91 years he graced the planet, David wrote the lyrics for some of the most famous songs in music for over half a century.
NME wrote that David was born in New York City in 1925, and began writing lyrics in the 1940s. He first began working with the bandleaders Sammy Kaye and Guy Lombardo.
This is one of Kaye’s most popular songs in 1945 – Chickery Chick (we’re not 100 per cent sure if David contributed the lyrics to it though).
However, it was with legendary crooner Burt Bacharach that David would become a household name. David was Bacharach’s songwriting partner, and together they wrote the lyrics for a catalogue of over 700 songs, according to Noise 11.
This included what would become classic tracks for Dionne Warwick in 1962, including I Say a Little Prayer and Always Something There to Remind Me.
Dionne Warwick – I Say a Little Prayer
Rolling Stone adds that the duo also wrote hit songs for Dusty Springfield (Wishin’ and Hopin‘) Jackie DeShannon (What the World Needs Now is Love) and Tom Jones (What’s New, Pussycat).
Tom Jones – What’s New, Pussycat
The duo also received an academy award for B.J. Thomas’ song Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, which was used in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
David joined the board of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 1974 and served as president 1980 to 1986. He was head of the Songwriters Hall of Fame from 2001 to 2011.
Back in May last year, Bacharach and David were awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, and they were honoured as part of a ceremony at the White House by US President Barack Obama. David was also immortalised with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in October last year; he was the oldest recipient of such an honour.
His wife, Eunice David, told NY Daily News that her husband’s love for songwriting never wavered.
“Even at the end, Hal always had a song in his head,” she said. “He was always writing notes, or asking me to take a note down, so he wouldn’t forget a lyric.”