Various Artists: Black America Sings Bacharach and David (Ace/Border)

 |   |  <1 min read

Marv Johnson: Another Tear Falls
Various Artists: Black America Sings Bacharach and David (Ace/Border)

It's one the great ironies that Hal David's name is less familiar today than that of his most famous writing partner Burt Bacharach.

It sometimes seems that the shorthand of pop speaks about Bacharach's songs . . . but that rather ignores that Hal David provided all those memorable words which people sing.

David -- who died in September 2012, aged 91 -- was a poet of pop who could economically encapsulate an idea, emotion or the zeitgeist": "What the world needs now is love . . ." captured the spirit of the mid Sixties and especially later after the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robery Kennedy in '68.

David puts the words into the mouths of Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin, NIna Simone, Mavis Staples, Gladys Night, Gene McDaniels, Cissy Houston and the many other black artists on this well annotated 24 song collection.

Consider this partial lost of classic pop songs included here: Make It Easy on Yourself (here by Warwick), I Say a Little Prayer (Aretha), Message to Martha (Jerry Butler), This Empty Place (Cissy Houston), Always Something There to Remind me (Patti LaBelle); The Look of Love (Simone), Walk on By (Gloria Gaynor) . . .

Hal David -- with or without Burt Bacharach -- was one of the greatest lyricists of the past century. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Madness: Complete Madness (Union Square/Triton)

Madness: Complete Madness (Union Square/Triton)

When the so-called "2 Tone Revolution" appeared in Britain in the late Seventies/early Eighties -- ska music, white shirts and black suits -- of all the bands in the vanguard, Madness... > Read more

Donna Dean: What Am I Gonna Do? (Ode)

Donna Dean: What Am I Gonna Do? (Ode)

When it comes to country music (alt. or country-rock) Donna Dean has the credentials: the gal has done it all -- marriage, kids, divorce, rehab, bars and clubs, opening for the likes of Willie... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

CAN: A CONCEPT, A CULT, A BAND; As only the Germans can

CAN: A CONCEPT, A CULT, A BAND; As only the Germans can

By definition most people miss cult acts. And to their tuned-in loyalists that makes them even more special. There is nothing like the whiff of martyrdom, or being ignored or misunderstood, to... > Read more

GUEST WRITER PIRIPI WHAANGA goes behind the masks of a New Orleans Mardi Gras

GUEST WRITER PIRIPI WHAANGA goes behind the masks of a New Orleans Mardi Gras

My wife and I flowed into New Orleans by way of a week-long stay-over in San Francisco. It was a good laxed-out hippie preparation for the weirdness of festival time around the 10th anniversary... > Read more