Bacharach’s Brilliance: Burt’s Bevy of Beauties 1960-1975

The Post-War world of Rock and Roll and Popular Music didn’t lend itself to the type of standards generated by Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart and Irving Berlin. Or we’re lead to believe. Of course, we would be remiss not to honor names like Leiber & Stoller, Goffin & King, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Gamble & Huff and a legion of others that have built extensive catalogs of well worn chestnuts and hidden gems.

burt_david_dionne_t700I couldn’t help but give my first dedication to human song factories to the most prolific Talented Taurus man of the Brill Building. Burt Freeman Bacharach cut his teeth as a Pianist for many MOR singers in the 1950’s, eventually moving up to Marlene Dietrich’s music director. With a keen ear for Jazz and R&B trends, he started to craft compositions by 1957, first with the same pool of MOR singers he had worked behind. This is where we meet him, giving a very lounge-y single to chanteuse Keely Smith on the verge of her split from her performing partner-husband Louis Prima in 1960.

From there we trace and time hop through the next 15 years of his carrier, primarily with Hal David his preferred lyricist, but sometimes, especially on the earlier efforts, finding him with Mack David and Bob Hilliard as he started delving deeper into being a songwriter for many R&B and Soul acts in New York (and beyond, as two Chicago Artists, Jerry Butler and Etta James benefited from his gifts in 1962).

What you will notice is a smattering of Burt’s obscurities, lesser names introducing you to songs that would become famous later and famous names taking a swing at the diverse bounty that Burt build over a decade and a half. With his impact and rather notorious tendency towards complex melodies, time signature shifts and when under his own oversight, perfecting precision in recording, I hope you’ll get a deeper insight into this living musical genius’s catalog of work.

1) Keely Smith – Close (1960)

2) Jimmy Breedlove – You’re Following Me (1961)
3) The Hammond Brothers – 30 Miles Of Railroad Track (1962)
4) The Shepherd Sisters – Deeply (1961)
5) Dean Barlow – Third Window From The Right (1962)
6) The Shirelles – Long Day, Short Night (1963)
7) Johnny Mathis – Saturday Sunshine (1963)
8) Babs Tino – Too Late To Worry (1962)
9) Don & Juan – True Love Never Runs Smooth (1963)
10) Marv Johnson – Another Tear Falls (1963)
11) Etta James – Waiting For Charlie To Come Home (1962)
12) Tammy Montgomery – Sinner’s Devotion (1962)
13) The Wanderers – Someone Else’s Heart (1961)
14) Linda Scott – Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed? (1964)
15) Big Maybelle – I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself (1964)
burt-bacharach-hit-maker-mono-front-hq16) Lou Johnson – Reach Out For Me (1963)
17) Dee Dee Sharp – Don’t Make Me Over (1963)
18) Sarah Vaughan – Make It Easy On Yourself (1966)
19) Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons – (There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me (1965)
20) Dusty Springfield – Another Night (1967)
21) Burt Bacharach w/Tony Middleton – Little Red Book (1965)
22) Freddie & The Dreamers – I Fell In Love With Your Picture (1965)
23) Jackie DeShannon – Come And Get Me (1966)
24) Tamiko Jones – Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (1968)
25) Little Peggy March – Try To See It My Way (1966)
26) Marlina Mars – It’s Love That Really Counts (In The Long Run) (1965)
27) Chuck Jackson – They Don’t Give Medals To Yesterday’s Heroes (1966)
28) The Orlons – Anyone Who Had A Heart (1966)
29) Evie Sands – The Love Of A Boy (1966)
30) Jerry Orbach & Marian Mercer – A Fact Can Be A Beautiful Thing (1968)
31) B.J. Thomas – Send My Picture To Scranton, P.A. (1968)
32) Dionne Warwick – Checkout Time (1970)
33) The Marvelettes – Message To Michael (1966)
34) Ronni Wallis – Window Wishing (1966)
35) The Supremes – Let Them Music Play (1966)
36) The Dells – I Say A Little Prayer (1973)
37) Stephanie Mills – Please Let Go (1975)
38) Burt Bacharach featuring Cissy Houston – All Kinds Of People (1971)
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