Burt Bacharach Receives Gershwin Prize

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Burt Bacharach, right, received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song from President Barack Obama. Eunice David, left, accepted the prize on behalf of her husband, lyricist Hal David.

KC-born Burt Bacharach received the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song last week in Washington, D.C.

Bacharach and his songwriting partner, lyricist Hal David, received the honor from President Barack Obama at a ceremony at the White House. David, who recently suffered a stroke, was unable to attend. His wife, Eunice David, accepted on his behalf.

During their heyday in the 1960s, Barcharach and David wrote and produced hits for Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, the Carpenters, the Fifth Dimension. Many have become standards. Seven Bacharach/David songs have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which recognizes historically important recordings.

Bacharach was born in Kansas City in May 1928. His father was a buyer for the Woolf Brothers clothing store, and the Bacharach family lived at about 41st Street and Warwick. They lived in Kansas City until Bacharach was four years old, when they moved to the New York city area.

About the Gershwin Prize
The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song honors artists whose lifetime contributions in the field of popular song exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin, by bridging musical styles, bringing diverse listeners together, and fostering their mutual respect and appreciation. Previous recipients are Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.

The White House ceremony, and a celebratory concert featuring Sheryl Crow, Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, Lyle Lovett, Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick, will air Monday, May 21, on PBS, as part of the “In Performance at the White House” series.

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