Hal David

As one half of the greatest American songwriting duo of the postwar era, lyricist Hal David teamed with composer Burt Bacharach to elevate the common pop song to fine art; the perfect complement to Bacharach's elegant melodies and shimmering arrangements, David's lyrics boasted an uncommon sophistication and maturity, achieving a poetic grace unparalleled in their sweeping romanticism and heartbreaking poignancy. The younger brother of tunesmith Mack David, he was born May 25, 1921 in Manhattan, and had already penned a series of hits including "American Beauty Rose," "Broken Hearted Melody," and "Bell Bottom Blues" prior to first meeting Bacharach at the Brill Building offices of the Famous Paramount Music Company in 1957. The duo quickly scored their first hit with Marty Robbins' "The Story of My Life," followed a year later by Perry Como's "Magic Moments"; still, despite their initial success, David and Bacharach collaborated only intermittently over the next several years, with the former writing alongside composers Bob Hilliard, Sherman Edwards, and Lee Pockriss.