Sep. 1, 2012 at 5:13 PM ET
Hal David, who along with partner Burt Bacharach penned dozens of top 40 hits for a variety of recording artists in the 1960s and beyond, has died. He was 91.
David died of complications from a stroke Saturday morning in Los Angeles, according to Jim Steinblatt, spokesman for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. David was a longtime member and former president of ASCAP.
Bacharach and David wrote many timeless tunes, including "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," "Close to You" and "That's What Friends Are For." They churned out hit music for movies, television and recording artists.
Earlier this year the duo received the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song during a White House tribute concert attended by President Barack Obama.
David, a native of Brooklyn, New York, began his songwriting career in the late 1940s by collaborating with writers he had met at Manhattan's famed Brill Building, which at the time was the center of the pop industry.
He started working with Bacharach in the late 1950s and their songs were recorded by such artists as Frank Sinatra, Marty Robbins, Tom Jones and Barbra Streisand.
The singer most associated with the songwriting duo is Dionne Warwick, who rose to fame by scoring a number of Top 10 hits in the 1960s with material from David and Bacharach.
Bacharach's and David's song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head" was written for the 1969 movie "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and won the Academy Award for Best Song.
The duo's other hits included "What the World Needs Now Is Love," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose," and "(They Long to Be) Close to You," which is best known from a version by the Carpenters.
As The New York Times points out, such questions as “What’s New Pussycat?” (from the film of the same name) and “What Do Get When You Fall in Love?” also entered the lexicon courtesy of David and Bacharach.
David and Bacharach parted ways in the early 1970s. David went on to work with other composers. With Albert Hammond, he wrote the hit "To All the Girls I've Loved Before."
Songwriter Paul Williams, president and chairman of ASCAP, said in a statement that David was "simple, concise and poetic."
"It is no wonder that so many of his lyrics have become part of our everyday vocabulary and his songs ... the backdrop of our lives," Williams said.
David served as president of ASCAP from 1980 to 1986.
His parents were immigrants from Austria. His older brother, Mack David also achieved success in music by composing or co-writing a number of songs, including the 1944 "Candy" and the English version of Edith Piaf's "La Vie En Rose."
David is survived by his wife, Eunice, and his sons, Jim and Craig, three grandchildren and two stepsons.
This article includes reporting by The Associated Press and Reuters.
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