Posted in music on September 2, 2012

Hal David

Hal David, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning lyricist who in the 1960s and '70s gave pop music vernacular the questions "What's It All About?," "What's New, Pussycat?," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" and "What Do You Get When You Fall in Love?," died on Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

The cause was a stroke, according to his wife, Eunice, who said he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Mr. David, whose lyrics could be anguished pleas, wistful yearnings, sexy mash notes or wry musings, and sometimes all four in the same song, was best known for the long strand of hits he and the composer Burt Bacharach wrote for Dionne Warwick.

He was something of a late bloomer: he did not have his first Top 10 hit -- "Magic Moments," recorded by Perry Como -- until 1958, when Mr. David was in his late 30s. He achieved his greatest successes well after he turned 40, at a time when many of the other successful songwriters were half his age and many young performers were writing their own songs.

Mr. David's words also found fertile ground on Broadway, in the hit musical "Promises, Promises"; in the movies, in the Oscar-winning song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"; and at weddings via the classic first-dance song "(They Long to Be) Close to You." -[NY Times]

Ninety-One is a good run. R.I.P., Hal. A few Hal David classics are below.


Marty Robbins - "The Story of My Life"

Aretha Franklin - "I Say Little Prayer"

Herb Alpert - "This Guy's in Love with You"

Dionne Warwick - "Anyone Who Had a Heart"

Dionne Warwick - "Alfie"

Jackie DelShannon - "What The World Needs Now"

Burt Bacharach - "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"

The Stranglers - "Walk on By"

Naked Eyes - "Always Something There to Remind Me"

Burt Bacharach - "Something Big"



Comments (14)

This is sad. RIP Hal David.

Now lets get back to what really matters. OH BAH MAH! YES WE CAN!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous | September 2, 2012 2:02 PM

Elevators across America observed a moment of silence in honor.

Posted by Anonymous | September 2, 2012 4:44 PM

10000000,000000 x's greater than your shitty excuse for songwriting

Posted by Anonymous | September 2, 2012 6:45 PM


Posted by Anonymous | September 3, 2012 4:08 AM

These songs weren't created by Weasel Walter?

Posted by Anonymous | September 3, 2012 1:28 PM

It's a little known fact that Hal David was also the bassist in the original Cro-Mags. Take care of yourself out on the streets of heaven, dude.

Posted by Anonymous | September 3, 2012 4:20 PM

Weasel writes great songs too.

Posted by Anonymous | September 3, 2012 6:55 PM

Yes, that Hatewave lp is up there with the greats...

Posted by Anonymous | September 3, 2012 8:23 PM

How do you mend a broken heart? Rest in peace.

Posted by Regular reader | September 3, 2012 9:38 PM

You may not know much about this guy, but he was a cultural icon. He was the bridge between the classic tin pan alley songwriters and 60's pop culture. Radio mattered then and his songs were all over it, a voice of timeless values in an era of upheaval.

I was more of an upheaval fan myself, but Hal David's songs enabled my dad to stomach pop radio on long car trips so I could, y'know, listen to the 1910 Fruit Gum Company and shit. And I got to know Hal David's voice and after a while grew to like it, a common ground in the midst of generational warfare. Good times. R.I.P., Hal David.

Posted by Anonymous | September 3, 2012 10:22 PM

I mean, in 1999, there were plenty of people who thought that I was the quietest saxophone player ever, while an equal amount of people thought that Weasel was an enormous asshole (=not quiet, intelligent, musical, etc.). Chalk it up to not caring about the details, but can we move on now?

Wow thats pretentious.

Im sure Hal David was intelligent without the rude b.s. contentious juvenile facade.

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2012 2:28 AM

Bacharach and David
Used to write his favorite songs
Never would he worry
He'd just run and fetch the ball

But the hip hop and the white funk
Just blew away my puppy's mind

I don't understand what you did to my dog!


Posted by Anonymous | September 10, 2012 10:31 AM

I would like to congratulate himself a very successful human

Posted by maximumask | September 11, 2012 8:07 AM

91 that is a good age to live to.

Posted by jordon | July 23, 2013 12:23 PM

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