Fourth Gershwin Prize Honoree: Hal David
“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head,” “This Guy’s in Love With You,” and “I'll Never Fall in Love Again,” are just three of the hits in a string of standards written by Academy Award-winning lyricist Hal David. “Raindrops,” which was in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, garnered an Oscar, “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Close to You” and “Walk on By&lrquo; are all in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
“What The World Needs Now is Love” was proclaimed “The Towering Song” by the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004, distinguished by its unforgettable melody and prayerful plain-spoken words that sound utterly contemporary today when conflict is so wide-spread around the world, even though it was written in 1965.
In addition, “What's New Pussycat,” "Alfie,” and "The Look of Love" received Oscar nominations.
Amongst Hal David's million-sellers are such standards as "Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “Walk on By,” “What The World Needs Now is Love,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me,” “One Less Bell To Answer,” and “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before”– all of which have become Pop standards.
When Dionne Warwick recorded Hal David’s hit song “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” she commented that she felt it “should be the new national anthem.”
Small wonder that Hal David has been honored for his way with words with every major award bestowed by the music industry, including 40 top 10 songs, numerous Grammys, the NARM Presidential Award, and the B'Nai B'rith Creative Achievement Award. He has also been elected to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and has been presented with their coveted Johnny Mercer Award, and is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Mr. David was awarded the prestigious Grammy Trustees Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Hal David received the esteemed Ivor Novello Award from the British Performing Rights Society (the first non-British person to ever receive that award).
In addition, Mr. David wrote the lyrics for film scores to Alfie, What's New Pussycat, Casino Royale, The April Fools, A House is not a Home, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Moonraker, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Hal David has been elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame for his many country hits, including “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before,” which garnered a Top Country Hit of the Year Award when the Famed country singer Willie Nelson duetted with the Latin star Julio Iglesias to record the hugely successful song.
His Broadway show Promises, Promises received a Grammy, and was nominated for a Tony Award, when it first appeared on Broadway. Two songs, written for the show: “Promises, Promises” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” became instant hits. The The Encore Series in New York showcased Promises, Promises; following that successful revival, the Reprise Series produced the show in Los Angeles, where it was so successful that they extended the series, and presented Promises, Promises a second time in the same season.
Hal David’s work is quoted in "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations,” and the book of his lyrics, entitled "What the World Needs Now and Other Love Lyrics" was published by Simon & Schuster. The Joffrey Ballet features two of Mr. David's songs, "Make it Easy on Yourself" and "There's Always Something There to Remind Me" in its production of LOVE SONGS, which is in its permanent repertoire.
Lincoln College bestowed a Doctor of Music degree on Mr. David for his major contribution to American music, and he also received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree from Claremont Graduate University. In October of 2007 he received an Honorary Degree the Five Towns College in Long Island, and in addition, they named their new Music Library building "The Hal David Music Library.”
Hal David, Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick are the proud recipients of the prestigious New York Heroes Award, presented by the National Recording Academy.
He’s listed as a Distinguished Patron of the Arts of the Los Angeles Music Center. He serves as a member of the Board of Governors of Cedars Sinai Medical Center, as well as the Board of Directors of ASCAP, having formerly served as its President.
Hal David was formerly the Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is now the Chairman Emeritus. He was awarded their first ever Visionary Leadership Award in 2011.