Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Hal David...and more.!

"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Essayist and poet (1803-1882)

Happy Wednesday! Today is Lyricist Hal David's 90th birthday. I don't know about you but I can't imagine my life without the lyrics of Hal David. I grew up listening to his music. As I've written before, I have over 6000 songs on my Ipod. It is always on shuffle. I don't think a day goes by that at least one of Hal David's songs doesnt pop up on my Ipod! Thank you, Hal! And here's to the next 90 years! Because of your songs, there WILL be 90 more years!
HAL DAVID was born in Brooklyn, New York on May 25th, 1921. As a kid he studied violin and played in neighborhood bands.
A natural wordsmith, David wrote for the Thomas Jefferson High School newspaper, becoming editor in his senior year. He studied at the NYU School of Journalism before joining the New York Post as a copywriter while playing violin for various ensembles on the borscht circuit at weekends.
David is best known for his collaborations with composer Burt Bacharach.
While serving in the Army, Hal David was posted to the Central Pacific Entertainment Section in Hawaii. When World War II ended he returned to New York where, encouraged by his oldest brother, noted country and Disney songwriter Mack David, he set about earning a living as a professional lyricist.

In 1947 he sold his song "Isn’t This Better Than Walking In The Rain?" to bandleader Sammy Kaye and enjoyed further success when his composition "The Four Winds And The Seven Seas" charted for Guy Lombardo. Hal David composed many songs with Leon Carr including Teresa Brewer’s smash hit "Bell Bottom Blues".
In 1957 David met composer Burt Bacharach at Famous Music in the Brill Building in New York. The two teamed up and wrote their first hit "The Story of My Life", recorded by Marty Robbins in 1957.
Later that year Perry Como had a hit with their "Magic Moments". Subsequently, Bacharach and David wrote some of the most enduring songs in American popular music, many for Dionne Warwick, but also for The Carpenters, Dusty SpringfieldMary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien (16 April 1939 – 2 March 1999), known professionally as Dusty Springfield, was a British pop singer whose career extended from the late 1950s to the 1990s. With her distinctive sensual sound, she was an important white soul singer, and at her peak was one of the most successful British female performers, with 18 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 from 1964 to 1970.She is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the U.K. Music Hall of Fame. International polls have named Springfield among the best female rock artists of all time.

Gene Pitney. Gene Francis Alan Pitney (February 17, 1940 – April 5, 2006)ANOTHER AQUARIAN! was an American singer-songwriter, musician, and sound engineer. Through the mid-1960s, he enjoyed success as a recording artist on both sides of the Atlantic and was among the group of early 1960s American acts who continued to enjoy hits after the British Invasion. Pitney charted 16 Top 40 hits in the U.S., four in the Top 10. In the UK he had 22 Top 40 hits, and 11 singles in the Top Ten. He also wrote the early 1960s hits "Rubber Ball" by Bobby Vee, "He's a Rebel" by The Crystals, and "Hello Mary Lou" by Rick Nelson. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Tom Jones, Jackie DeShannon, and others in the 1960s and early 1970s. Bacharach and David hits include "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", "This Guy's in Love with You", "I'll Never Fall in Love Again", "Do You Know the Way to San Jose", "Walk On By", "What the World Needs Now Is Love", "I Say a Little Prayer", "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me", "One Less Bell to Answer", and "Anyone Who Had a Heart".
Dusty Springfield "The Look Of Love" (1967) Music written by Burt Bacharach & lyrics written by Hal David and performed by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

"The Look of Love" is a popular song. Since its first appearance in the 1967 James Bond film Casino Royale, it has become synonymous with lounge and easy listening music.

The song was sung by Dusty Springfield for the Casino Royale soundtrack, and was nominated for an Oscar. Springfield re-recorded the song the same year in London and released the song as the B-side of "Give Me Time". Claudine Longet recorded the song on her 1967 album of the same title. Lainie Kazan also recorded "The Look of Love" (arranged by Pat Williams) on her 1967 album Love is Lainie. Sergio Mendes' hit rendition on the Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 album Look Around, reached #4 on the pop charts after their performance in the Academy Awards telecast in March 1968. The lead vocal on this single was handled by Janis Hansen, not Lani Hall, a rarity in the early Brasil '66 canon. In 1969, soul group The Delfonics also covered the song on their album La La Means I Love You. During 1970, Isaac Hayes covered the song for his 1970 album ...To Be Continued. While Hayes used the same lyrics, his cover includes a unique instrumental which has been heavily sampled on R&B and hip-hop records.
The duo's film work includes the Oscar-nominated title songs for "What's New Pussycat?" and "Alfie"; "The Look of Love", from Casino Royale; and the Oscar-winning "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In addition, "Don't Make Me Over", "(They Long to Be) Close to You", and "Walk On By" have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
David's work with other composers includes Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias' "To All the Girls I've Loved Before", with Albert Hammond; Sarah Vaughan's "Broken Hearted Melody", with Sherman Edwards; the 1962 Joanie Sommers hit "Johnny Get Angry", also with Edwards; and "We Have All the Time in the World", written with John Barry and sung by Louis Armstrong, for the 1969 James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. David co-wrote with Paul Hampton the country standard Sea of Heartbreak, a hit for Don Gibson and others.
"To All the Girls I've Loved Before" was a 1984 cover of Albert Hammond's song by singers Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson, which appeared on Iglesias's album 1100 Bel Air Place. A breakthrough for Iglesias in the English language market, the song peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the RPM Top Singles. "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" went to number one on the country chart and was one of two entries on the country chart for Julio Iglesias and Willie Nelson as duo (second was song called Spanish Eyes, which peaked at #8 in late 1988).It was Iglesias' biggest hit in U.S.A. and Canada, and Nelson's biggest European hit. The record also appeared on Australian, New Zealandian and South African charts, and was very well sold. The song has become Iglesias's signature English-language tune, prominently performed at his concerts since the single's release. Thanks to this song, 1100 Bel Air Place became Iglesias' world-wide best selling album. In 1984, Nelson & Iglesias were also named "Duo of the year" by Country Music Association, and To All The Girls I've Loved Before was named single of the year by Academy of Country Music.
The song has been covered by many artists including Merle Haggard.Merle Haggard has always had his guitar hardwired to the gutbucket pulse of Middle America. Back in the Vietnam era, he seemed the essence of a historic political migration: white males fleeing the feminized, antiwar, politically correct Democratic Party. He was your basic Reagan Democrat, fully loaded with a resonant, iron-edged voice and the ability to write razor lyrics that stuck in the mind and the craw. His brilliant anthem—Okie from Muskogee—became a rallying cry for those who were disgusted by the "hippies out in San Francisco" smoking marijuana and burning draft cards. His next patriotic volley had this chorus: "When they're runnin' down my country, man, you're walkin' on the fightin' side of me." Merle is more than happy to talk politics, given that he has an album, The Bluegrass Sessions, which was a political and musical return to his family's Okie and New Deal Democratic roots.



Most recently, in 2010, Canadian singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette recorded her version of the song re-written as "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" for her upcoming studio album.
Nelson played rhythm guitar on the recording.
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Tomorrow's blog will be about Mark Nadler and 1961!

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TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED WEEK!
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

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