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Burt Bacharach is a multi-faceted composer enjoying credits with a host of major collaborators, particularly Hal David. Born in Missouri, Bacharach did most of his growing up in New York City, where during his elementary school years, he began taking piano lessons. In the early and mid-sixties, his songwriting talents became the pivotal force in his music, with country-rock smashes, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," and the classic, "Only Love Can Break A Heart," for Gene Pitney; and "Story Of My Life" for the country star, Marty Robbins. Soon established as a major songwriting duo with Hal David, Bacharach and his partner became long term contributors to the career of Dionne Warwick. Over a period of 10 years, the pair enjoyed a string of 39 consecutive chart hits with Ms. Warwick, including such memorable songs as "Walk On By," "Don't Make Me Over," "I'll Never Fall In Love Again," "Promises, Promises," and "Message To Michael." The song, "That's What Friends Are For," recorded by Warwick with Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Gladys Knight, and co-written with Carole Bayer Sager, became number one on the hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts, received a Grammy for "Song of the Year," and with songwriters and artists all contributing their services without charge, the recording raised over $1,500,000 for The American Foundation for AIDS Research (AmFAR). Burt Bacharach's motion picture scores have also achieved classic status. With Hal David a co-writer, the output includes a series of memorable themes, such as "What's New Pussycat," (the title song was a million-seller for Britain's Tom Jones); "Casino Royale," from which the song "The Look Of Love" was a gold record for both Dusty Springfield and Sergio Mendez and Brazil 66. The title song became a major hit for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Others in the movie genre include "Alfie," "Together?" with vocals by Michael McDonald, Jackie DeShannon and Libby Titus; "Arthur," "Night Shift," "Making Love," "Baby Boom" and the memorable "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," for which he received a pair of Oscars. Meanwhile, an album compilation of greatest Bacharach hits featuring the original recordings, and fitled "Look of Love," was released earlier this year and promptly hit the number six position on the UK best-selling charts. On the Broadway stage, Bacharach and David wrote Promises, Promises, a smash hit at the box office as well as through the Dionne Warwick recording of the title song. On another front, Bacharach, as arranger and conductor, has also recorded eight albums for A&M Records.
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