Summary: Burt Bacharach, the legendary composer, pianist, and record producer passed away on May 29, 2021, at the age of 93. Bacharach had been responsible for some of the biggest hits in popular music history, including ‘Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head’, ‘I Say a Little Prayer,’ and ‘Walk On By.’ Among his closest friends was actress Angie Dickinson who recently opened up about his death in an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly.
1. Angie’s Reflection on Bacharach’s Passing
Angie Dickinson commented that since the death of her long-time friend and musical collaborator Bacharach, she is struggling to come to terms with the void that he has left behind. She said that the last time she heard from him was in April, shortly before his death. “It breaks my heart that he’s gone,” she stated. “But I still have our music together that we made. We had so much fun back then.”
When asked about their friendship and professional relationship, she praised Bacharach’s musical genius and work ethics. “Burt was a hands-on artist. He would play the piano while he conducted the orchestra so that everyone could hear exactly what they were supposed to play. He was extraordinary,” she added.
Dickinson, who acted in several films during the 1960s and 1970s, collaborated with Bacharach on her debut album, Angie Dickinson, released in 1978. The album featured popular songs such as “The Look of Love” and “This Girl’s in Love with You.”
2. Bacharach’s Legacy and Contribution to Music
Burt Bacharach’s influence on popular music is undeniable, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, during which he wrote numerous hit songs for popular artists such as Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones, and Dusty Springfield. He was also known for his contributions to film scores, working on movies such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Casino Royale.
Bacharach’s style of writing, marked by unusual chord progressions and complex harmonies, remains relevant to this day. His music has been covered by countless artists, and many modern-day songwriters still draw inspiration from his work. According to The New Yorker, Bacharach “bridges the gap between Tin Pan Alley and contemporary pop, between the World War II years and the psychedelic 60s.”
His contribution to music has been recognized with numerous accolades including the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) (1987), the Academy Award for Best Original Song (1969, 1982, 1983), and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972, among others.
3. Bacharach’s Personal Life and Relationships
Burt Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1928, and grew up in Forest Hills, Queens. He began playing piano at a young age and studied music at McGill University in Montreal before moving to New York City to work as a pianist and arranger.
Bacharach went through several personal struggles over the years, including a difficult divorce from his first wife, Paula Stewart. However, he found love again with Angie Dickinson, and the two were married from 1965 to 1981.
Despite their divorce, the couple maintained a close friendship, and Dickinson would often accompany Bacharach on tour. They had one daughter together, Nikki Bacharach, who tragically took her own life in 2007 at the age of 40.
4. The Music that Defined Bacharach’s Career
Burt Bacharach had a prolific career, with countless hit songs to his name. Some of his most famous compositions include “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Alfie,” “One Less Bell to Answer,” and “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” He was also behind the music of several iconic movies, such as “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” from Arthur, and “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Bacharach’s work is characterized by unusual chord progressions and his ability to evoke emotion through music. His use of instruments such as flutes, muted trumpets, and understated strings added depth to his arrangements and made them instantly recognizable.
5. Tributes to Bacharach After His Death
Following Burt Bacharach’s death, several artists and public figures paid tribute to him on social media. American singer and actress Dionne Warwick, who worked closely with Bacharach throughout her career, tweeted “Burt Bacharach – with whom I had the extraordinary privilege of collaborating on so many projects – has been one of the most influential people in my life.”
Singer-songwriter Carole King also tweeted her condolences, writing “So sad to hear of the passing of Burt Bacharach. One of the all-time greats. No one else could blend a 9th chord and melody like he could.”
Burt Bacharach’s talent, versatility, and influence have earned him a place in the pantheon of great musicians. His unique style and complex musical arrangements have inspired countless artists over the years and continue to do so today. Bacharach’s friendship with actress Angie Dickinson was a testament to his kind, generous nature and his passion for music. Though he may be gone, his music will undoubtedly continue to captivate audiences for generations to come.