September 1, 2012 Statement by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington Regarding the Passing of Hal David

Contact: Gayle Osterberg (202) 707-0020

“Award-winning lyricist Hal David was an American songwriting treasure. His legacy of more than five decades of music has inspired fans, performers and other songwriters with its diversity and longevity. His storied partnership with Burt Bacharach yielded some of the most enduring and beloved songs of all time. The pairing of David’s lyrics with Bacharach’s music gave us powerful and memorable songs that have been embraced across generations. The world will remember Hal for his timeless and unforgettable lyrics that earned him countless awards and honors. However, his peers will also remember him for his leadership in the music industry as the former head of ASCAP and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He will be missed, but his rich body of work will be with us forever.”

2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize Recipient

The Library of Congress on May 8, 2012, honored Hal David and Burt Bacharach with the 2012 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. At the time of the announcement, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said:

“The timeless hits by Burt Bacharach and Hal David have helped launch the careers of many of our nation’s most celebrated performers, and they continue to be played on iPods, radio, television, in movies, and performed in cabarets and on the Broadway stage. The success of their creative genius continues today as they each add new songs to what is without question one of the richest and most recognizable multi-generational playlists known to the world. 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.”

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PR 12-164
ISSN 0731-3527