Obituary: Hit song lyricist and former ASCAP head Hal David, 91

Posted on: September 4, 2012

In Monday’s (9/3) New York Times, Rob Hoerburger writes, “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. He was 91 and lived in Los Angeles. The cause was a stroke, according to his wife, Eunice, who said he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Mr. David, whose lyrics could be anguished pleas, wistful yearnings, sexy mash notes or wry musings—sometimes all four in the same song—was best known for the long strand of hits that he and the composer Burt Bacharach wrote for Dionne Warwick. … ‘I Say a Little Prayer,’ a No. 4 hit in 1967, was the most successful of the three dozen or so singles that Mr. David and Mr. Bacharach wrote and produced for Ms. Warwick … [David] spent much of his later career as a kind of songwriting éminence grise and did charitable and foundation work. He was president of Ascap, the songwriters and publishers’ organization, from 1980 to 1986 and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972 and the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984.”

Posted September 4, 2012