The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Entertainment

September 2, 2012

Legendary songwriter Hal David dies in LA at 91

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hal David, the stylish, heartfelt lyricist who teamed with Burt Bacharach on dozens of timeless songs for movies, television and a variety of recording artists in the 1960s and beyond, has died. He was 91.

David died of complications from a stroke Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to his wife Eunice David.

He had suffered a major stroke in March and was stricken again on Tuesday, she said.

"Even at the end, Hal always had a song in his head," Eunice David said. "He was always writing notes, or asking me to take a note down, so he wouldn't forget a lyric."

Bacharach and David were among the most successful teams in modern history, with top 40 hits including "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," ''Close to You" and "That's What Friends Are For." Although most associated with Dionne Warwick, their music was recorded by many of the top acts of their time, from the Beatles and Barbra Streisand to Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin. They won an Oscar for "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" (from the movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"), Grammys and Tonys for the songs from the hit Broadway musical "Promises, Promises."

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, and was Chairman Emeritus at his death.

"As a lyric writer, Hal was simple, concise and poetic -- conveying volumes of meaning in fewest possible words and always in service to the music," ASCAP's current president, the songwriter Paul Williams, said in a statement. "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."

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