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“Walk on By” Composer Burt Bacharach Passes at Age 94

“Walk on By” Composer Burt Bacharach Passes at Age 94

On Wednesday, at the age of 94, the acclaimed composer and Oscar winner Burt Bacharach, renowned for creating catchy melodies and eccentric arrangements of iconic hits such as “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and “What the World Needs Now is Love”, passed away at his Los Angeles home due to natural causes, according to his publicist Tina Brausam.

For the past 70 years, only a select few have matched the brilliance of Bacharach’s songs – compositions that remain as popular now as when they were written. His string of top 10 hits from the 1950s to the 21st century can be heard everywhere from soundtracks and radios to stereos and iPods.

Whether it be “Alfie”, “I Say a Little Prayer” or “This Guy’s in Love With You”, Dionne Warwick, the undisputed favorite interpreter of his music, was joined by Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, and many more in breathing life into his work. Even Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Frank Sinatra have all performed covers of his music. Artists like The White Stripes, Twista, and Ashanti are but a few more of the most recent musicians to sing or sample Bacharach’s songs – with “Walk On By” having been covered by the likes of Warwick, Isaac Hayes and even the British punk band, The Stranglers and Cyndi Lauper.

The profound creative partnership of Mr. Bacharach, Mr. David and Ms. Warwick set the standard for the passionate, young, go-getting female, simultaneously demonstrating strength and susceptibility. Their sophisticated music style was the foundation of the raw, soulful sound of Motown in the mid-1960s and beyond.

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In the 1980s, after a number of challenging years both personally and professionally, Mr. Bacharach found success again when he joined forces with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager.

They married in 1982 and went on to have the highest commercial peak of their careers in 1986, producing two No. 1 hits: “On My Own” by Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald, and the Grammy Award-winning song of the year, “That’s What Friends Are For”.

Originally recorded by Rod Stewart for the film “Night Shift”, the latter was re-done as a duet by Dionne and Friends (Warwick, Wonder, Knight, and John) and marked the last of Mr. Bacharach’s major hits. He and Ms. Sager ended their marriage in 1991.

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