Burt Bacharach was a great and popular songwriter, and a composer of many film scores. As we hear the sad news of his passing today, I wanted to say thank you Maestro, for all the memories and so many Magic Moments that made our Heart lights glow.

Together with Hal David, Burt Bacharach created songs that became popular standards. They were songs that once heard would never be forgotten, and each one seemed to have to it a persona, a mood and a refrain that would evoke memories of a time a place or an event that took place when you first heard it. Sophisticated, easy on the ear yet at times musically complicated, many of them became hits during a career glittering that lasted more than half a century. Bacharach’s songs surpassed the rock era; were never trendy but never out of vogue.

Burt Freeman Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1928 but grew up in New York, where his father a well-known newspaper columnist. He developed an interest in jazz as a teenager, often gaining entry into many of New York’s jazz clubs while being underage. He began to study music in Montreal and then later in California and found himself becoming friends with John Cage, who became a major influence on his career. Bacharach did his army service in Korea and, when he left the army returned to New York where he found work as a composer and arranger, writing songs for numerous performers, including actress and singer Paula Stewart, whom he later married. At one stage in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he accompanied Marlene Dietrich, as she took her cabaret act around Europe and the United States. By then, he had teamed up with the lyricist Hal David. They met at the famous Brill Building in New York, where so many music publishers and popular songwriters had their offices.

Bacharach and David had their first big hits in the late 1950’s The Story of My Life, recorded by Marty Robbins in 1957 and Magic Moments, sung by Perry Como in 1957 which went to the number one position in the UK hit parade. As the decade of the 1960s began, it seemed that the duo could not put a foot wrong and produced hit after hit for a plethora of artists. Gene Pitney recorded the now classic song Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa, The Walker Brothers with another iconic song Make It Easy on Yourself and Dusty Springfield charted in the USA and the UK with I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself.

Inspired by his second wife, actress Angie Dickinson, Bacharach wrote songs for the cinema, including Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid performed by BJ Thomas, and t the haunting theme song for Alfie, which was a hit for Cilla Black. It was his song for Alfie that garnered him an Oscar nomination for best song, as did the theme for What’s New Pussycat, which was a hit for Tom Jones, and The Look of Love which became a hit for Dionne Warwick in the USA and also a hit for Dusty Springfield in the UK and featured in the spoof Bond movie Casino Royale.

It was with Dionne Warwick, a singer Bacharach and David had hired to record demo records, that the duo achieved their most successful and continuing collaboration. Which began with Don’t Make Me Over in 1962, she recorded a string of almost forty Bacharach and David hits over the next ten years, including Walk On By, Do You Know the Way to San Jose? and I’ll Never Fall in Love Again. (which was also a hit for Bobby Gentry). By the beginning of the 1970s, Bacharach and David had written more than a hundred songs, but their partnership was starting to fall apart. A musical version of the 1937 film Lost Horizon (1973) was a disaster at the box office and was responsible for a number of lawsuits. Bacharach’s partnership with David broke up at this time.

The composer’s marriage to Angie Dickinson was also failing and his music was becoming less in demand. But Bacharach made a stunning comeback in the 1980s, writing hits like the theme song for the film Arthur with his third wife, Carole Bayer Sager, which achieved chart success for the singer Christopher Cross. Together the couple went on to write Making Love for Roberta Flack, That’s What Friends Are For, sung by Dionne Warwick, and songs for the likes of Gladys Knight, Neil Diamond, and Patti Labelle.

Many younger songwriters, such as Noel Gallagher of Oasis, expressed admiration and respect for Bacharach’s music with many others clambering to work with him. He collaborated with Elvis Costello and the rapper Doctor Dre, and also appeared on screen (as himself) most famously playing a piano and singing on a bus in London in one of the Austin Powers films. In June 2015, Bacharach performed on stage at the Glastonbury Festival to a ecstatic welcome. The fluency and warmth of Bacharach’s music meant the cleverness of much of it was sometimes overlooked: it was dismissed as Lift music, or even lounge or easy listening, maybe waiting room muzak. But typically, the compositions of Burt Bacharach were rhythmically complicated, often surprising the listener with deviations of melody, time signature, and unbalanced phrasing.

The harmonies were sometimes alternative, and the composer excelled at producing a soaring and hauntingly affecting musical hook that just stayed with the listeners, lodging in their brain and subconscious refusing to leave.

Above all, his songs are musically cultured, and they were open to and invited stylish interpretations from his singers – one reason, perhaps, why later generations of songwriters positively revered him. He was and will remain a giant of the music world.


Randy Edelman was born on June 10, 1947, in Paterson, New Jersey, USA. He is a composer and actor, known for his collaboration with composer Trevor Jones on the Daniel Day Lewis movie The Last of the Mohicans, (1992), and scores in his own right such as Come See the Paradise (1990), XXX (2002) and Six Days, Seven Nights (1998).

He works with both conventional or symphonic instrumentation and electronic elements, often fusing these to create haunting and action-packed musical scores. Edelman attended the University of Cincinnati, upon his graduation Edelman travelled back to New York where he was signed by CBS April Blackwood Music as a staff writer.   It was at this time that he started to perform piano in various Broadway pit orchestras and continued his interest as a music arranger.  He went on tour from time to time as Music Director for many entertainers. 

It was while traveling that Randy began writing both his own music and lyrics looking to one day produce his own solo projects and albums. These albums would eventually lead him to work with the likes of The Carpenters, Frank Zappa, and The Mothers of Invention. His songs began being recorded by such popular recording artists as Barry Manilow (“Weekend In New England”), Olivia Newton-John, Patti LaBelle, The Carpenters, The 5th Dimension, Jackie DeShannon, Blood Sweat and Tears, Kool & The Gang, Agnetha Faltskog (ABBA), and Bing Crosby to name a few. 

Dennis Quaid and dragon looking up in a scene from the film ‘DragonHeart’, 1996.

Subsequent success of his records in the United Kingdom led to appearances on the BBC show Top of the Pops, concerts at the London Palladium and Drury Lane Theatres, and tours throughout Europe, Japan and Australia. He had hit records in the UK with ‘Concrete and Clay’ and ‘Uptown, Uptempo Woman’. His main theme composed for Dragonheart (1996) and Dragon; The Bruce Lee story (1993) were both heavily used in movie trailers, at the end of the 90s. Several of the themes from his score for the epic movie Gettysburg (1993) (e.g. the cue entitled Fife and Gun) are used frequently in various film trailers and television programming, particularly sports coverage. His theme from The Adventures of Brisco County Jnr.  (1993) was used in coverage of the Olympics in 2002, and again by NBC during its coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. The composer Scored seven movies for director Rob Cohen. From Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story to The Boy Next Door.  He was also credited in early trailers for scoring Cohen’s Stealth, but his score never appeared in the movie.


It was shortly after arriving in Los Angeles that Randy became interested in using his background as a classical musician and arranger to pursue his interest in film scoring.  In between his album recording he began scoring several television and feature films.  His TV scoring work included MacGyver, Maximum Security, Mr. Sunshine, Brisco County Jr. to name but a few.  Children’s projects included PBS Wonderworks, The Care Bears album and several award-winning after school specials.  After working predominantly on pop songs Edelman found the work, he did for film more liberating and decided to devote his time to pursuing composing music for motion pictures. He has now composed over one hundred scores for film and television. His music has been performed by such orchestras as, The Boston Pops, Charleston Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, and the London Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.

His score from The Last Of The Mohicans was nominated for both the British Academy Award and the Golden Globe. His movie themes have become a backbone of numerous sports broadcasts. And he has written the NBC’s NFL Football Theme, ESPN’s Sports Century documentary series theme, and the on-air Olympic theme for NBC. His scores have opened the Super Bowl and closed the Olympic broadcast for which he received an Emmy Award. In 200 he scored the comedy western Shanghai Noon, in which the composer fused the style of the old western as made in Hollywood with the sound of the Euro western, whilst also placing his own musical fingerprint upon the production.


In 2003 Randy received BMI’s highest honour, the Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Career Achievement. In June 2004 Randy Edelman was awarded an Honourary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati. He received the Ph.D. along with three other distinguished honourees from various fields, including Coretta Scott King. In 2005 Randy had his biggest chart record with Nelly’s My Place. It reached the top of the pile on Billboard’s Rap and Hip Hop charts and achieved a number four position on the Pop chart. In 2007, Edelman was nominated by the IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association) for “Best Original Score For Television” for ABC’s mini-series The Ten Commandments.