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Promises, Promises Lyricist Hal David Dies at Age 91

Promises, Promises Lyricist Hal David Dies at Age 91
Hal David
Lyricist Hal David dies as 91.

Hal David, lyricist of the Broadway musical Promises, Promises and dozens of pop hits in partnership with composer Burt Bacharach, died in Los Angeles on September 1 after suffering a stroke. He was 91.

David collaborated with Bacharach and librettist Neil Simon on Promises, Promises, a musical adaptation of The Apartment, which opened on Broadway in 1968 and spawned hits including “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and “Knowing When to Leave.” The show was successfully revived in 2010, starring Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes, with the addition of “A House Is Not a Home” and “I Say a Little Prayer.” David’s lyrics were also represented on Broadway in the short-lived 2003 revue The Look of Love.

In the pop world, David’s lyrics became synonymous with the 1960s, with hits sung by Dionne Warwick (“Walk On By,” “Alfie,” “Don’t Make Me Over”), Tom Jones (“What’s New, Pussycat?”) and Dusty Springfield (“Wisin’ and Hopin’”). He and Bacharach won an Oscar for their biggest hit, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

David and Bacharach stopped composing together after the failure of their score for the 1973 movie Lost Horizon. In later years, David served as president of ASCAP and was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He had another hit in 1984 hit “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” written with Albert Hammond.

The lyricist is survived by his second wife, Eunice, two sons, Jim and Craig, and three grandchildren.

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