The Library of Congress has announced that Burt Bacharach and Hal David will be the fourth recipients of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The award "celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding." The three previous winners were Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said “The timeless hits by Burt Bacharach and Hal David have helped launch the careers of many of our nation’s most celebrated performers, and they continue to be played on iPods, radio, television, in movies, and performed in cabarets and on the Broadway stage. The success of their creative genius continues today as they each add new songs to what is without question one of the richest and most recognizable multi-generational playlists known to the world. Their creative talents have inspired songwriters for more than five decades, and their legacy is much in the tradition of George and Ira Gershwin, for whom this award is named.”

“I’ve been fortunate to receive a number of music-industry honors during my career,” said David, who in addition to his songwriting career has served as president and on the board of directors of the musicians’ intellectual property organization the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP). “However, the news of being awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize was especially meaningful to me. I am humbled and excited at the same time to receive this prestigious award,” he said.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award and to follow the past recipients, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney – it doesn’t get any better than this,” said Bacharach, who has also enjoyed a solo career as a performer and has continued writing songs in collaboration with such talents as Carole Bayer Sager (with whom he wrote That’s What Friends are For) and Elvis Costello (with whom he won a Grammy for the song I Still Have That Other Girl).

The music of Burt Bacharach and Hal David forms a soundtrack for popular song during the 50's through the 70's. Some of their songs and a selection of the people who recorded them:

The Story of My Life (Marty Robbins)
Magic Moments (Perry Como)
(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance (Gene Pitney)
Only Love Can Break a Heart (Gene Pitney)
Any Day Now (Chuck Jackson, Ronnie Milsap)
Make It Easy On Yourself (Jerry Butler, Walker Brothers)
Don't Make Me Over (Dionne Warwick)
Blue on Blue (Bobby Vinton)
I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself (Dusty Springfield, Dionne Warwick)
Twenty Four Hours to Tulsa (Gene Pitney)
Wives and Lovers (Jack Jones)
Anyone Who Had a Heart (Dionne Warwick)
Walk on By (Dionne Warwick)
Wishin' and Hopin' (Dusty Springfield)
You'll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart) (Dionne Warwick, Stylistics)
Reach Out For Me (Dionne Warwick)
A House is Not a Home (Dionne Warwick)
(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me (Lou Johnson, Sandi Shaw)
Message to Michael (Dionne Warwick)
Trains and Boats and Planes (Dionne Warwick, Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas)
What the World Needs Now is Love (Jackie DeShannon)
What's New Pussycat? (Tom Jones)
Alfie (Cher, Cilla Black, Dionne Warwick)
Casino Royale (Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass)
The Look of Love (Dusty Springfield)
I Say a Little Prayer (Dionne Warwick, Aretha Franklin)
Do You Know the Way to San Jose? (Dionne Warwick)
This Guy's in Love With You (Herb Alpert)/This Girl's In Love With You (Dionne Warwick)
Promises, Promises (Dionne Warwick)
I'll Never Fall in Love Again (Dionne Warwick)
Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (B.J. Thomas)
(They Long to Be) Close to You (Carpenters)
One Less Bell to Answer (Fifth Dimension)

The two songwriters also wrote hits with others early in their career such as Baby It's You (Bacharach with Mack David), Johnny Get Angry (David) and Broken Hearted Melody (David).

The men's biographies from the Library of Congress press release are after the cut.

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