How Are We Going To Find Our Way To San Jose? Lyricist Hal David, Partner with Burt Bacharach of Many Hit Songs, Dead at 91. Wrote the Words to the Wedding Classic ‘Close to You’

Sep 1, 2012  •  Post A Comment

"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," reports The New York Times. He was 91.

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

While David was the wordsmith, his longtime songwriting partner, composer Burt Bacharach–who is 83–usually wrote the music.

"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," writes The Times.

The Times adds, "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.’ "

The story also notes, "Though Mr. Bacharach had the higher profile, Ms. Warwick has said that Mr. David was “the more stabilizing force” of the team and the one “who really got things done for us.”

"Earlier this year, Mr. David and Mr. Bacharach received the fourth Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress," The Times says.

Bacharach, Warwick and Hal David.bmp

Burt Bacharach (left), Dionne Warwick, and Hal David

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