This Week in KC’s Music History: “The Story of My Life” Hits No. 1

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Burt Bacharach (left) was born in Kansas City, Mo. With lyricist Hal David (right), he wrote some of the greatest songs of the 1960s, particularly for Dionne Warwick.

It’s not a significant song in the history of its principals, but there is a tie to Kansas City when The Story of My Life by Marty Robins hit No. 1 on the U.S. country chart on Dec. 1, 1957.

The song is the first significant success for the legendary songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1928 and his family lived here before moving to Queens, N.Y., when he was four years old.

The Story of My Life was Bacharach and David’s first song to be recorded by a major artist and their first No. 1 song on any chart, reaching No. 1 on the country chart and No. 15 on the pop chart.

Marty Robbins had his fourth career No. 1 song with "The Story of My Life."

Frankly, it’s not a great record and gives no hint to the brilliance they would achieve just a few years later in the 1960s with Dionne Warwick and a host of other artists. To date, Bacharach has written more than 70 songs that hit the U.S. Top 40.

For Robbins, his best work was ahead of him, too. The Story of My Life was just the fourth chart topper in a career that would see 17.  El Paso would be released in 1959, and he became one of the most successful country artists in the 1960s.


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