Songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David Receive 2012 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

By Michael Gioia
October 3, 2011

Grammy and Academy Award-winning songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David have been announced as the 2012 recipients of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Bacharach and David will receive the Library's Gershwin Medal in the spring at an all-star tribute in Washington, DC.



Bacharach and David are the first songwriting team to be awarded the honor and will join previous recipients Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney. The prize recognizes the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding.

"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,” said librarian of Congress James H. Billington in a statement.

The songwriters received a Tony Award nomination for the score of the Broadway musical Promises, Promises, and their songs have been featured in the Broadway productions The Look of Love and The Boy From Oz.

Bacharach and David first began collaborating in the 1950s at the famous Paramount Music Co. in New York's storied Brill Building. Their songs have been recorded by artists such as Diana Krall, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Cyndi Lauper and the cast of the television show “Glee.” They received an Academy Award for the song "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head."

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