Burt Bacharach and lyricist Hal David are amongst the greatest composing duos of all time. One of their most memorable songs was Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head from the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, for which they won the Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Grammy Awards.
A number of their hits were written especially for Grammy winner Dionne Warwick, including Walk On By, Alfie, I Say A Little Prayer and Do You Know The Way To San Jose. She ranks amongst the 40 biggest hit makers of the entire rock and pop era. She’s second only to Aretha Franklin as the most charted female vocalist of all time, with 56 of her singles making the Billboard Hot 100 between 1962-1998.
In September 1995 she performed in New Zealand, including Auckland’s Aotea Centre, where she signed my sketch. Burt Bacharach was scheduled to do a New Zealand tour in early 2007 with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, but broke his collar bone and was unable to travel. Dionne Warwick replaced him, saying “That’s what friends are for”.
It was to be her final performance visit to the country. Burt rescheduled for July later that year, the ‘ultra cool cult hero of the contemporary music set’ played a number of gigs, including Auckland’s Vector Arena with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.
I was in Auckland at the time, but couldn’t go to the concert. I was, however, very keen to get his ‘graph, but only had half and hour, so did a lightning fast sketch based on a poster pic of him at the Vector Arena and left it at the stage door with a note and a return envelope. It was returned, signed, along with a signed copy of his “At This Time” CD.