Burt Bacharach & Hal David: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize For Popular Song In Performance At The White House
Airs Friday, July 20, 2012 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV
Originally published May 18, 2012 at 9:41 a.m., updated July 6, 2012 at 5:09 p.m.
“Burt Bacharach & Hal David: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song In Performance at the White House” is a PBS music special in the East Room of the White House. President and Mrs. Obama will host the concert event on May 9, 2012 in honor of songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s receipt of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
The evening will include performances by Sheryl Crow, Michael Feinstein, Diana Krall, Lyle Lovett, Mike Myers, Rumer, Arturo Sandoval, Sheléa and Stevie Wonder. President Obama will present the Gershwin Prize for Bacharach and David during the event.
The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song is named in honor of the legendary George and Ira Gershwin. This award recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world’s culture. The prize is given annually to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins.
This will be the first time the Gershwin Prize honor has been awarded to a songwriting team. Like the legendary siblings for whom the Gershwin Prize is named, Bacharach and David are a pianist and lyricist respectively.
The GRAMMY- and Academy Award-winning pair have collaborated for more than a half-century, creating such beloved songs as “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” “What the World Needs Now is Love,” “Walk on By” and “Alfie.”
David, 90, and Bacharach, 83, first began collaborating in the 1950s at the Famous Paramount Music Co. in New York City. Since their first hit together, “The Story of My Life” in 1957, both David and Bacharach have been nominated and honored with every major award bestowed by the music industry.
Bacharach, born in Missouri and raised in New York, has been for six decades one of the most honored and successful composers of our time. His music continues to set industry records and creative standards.
A recipient of three Academy Awards and eight GRAMMY Awards, including the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award and 1997 Trustees Award with collaborator Hal David, Bacharach revolutionized the music of the 1950s and ‘60s.
He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and is the recipient of other tributes received from top music industry institutions to governments, universities and charitable and philanthropic groups. From helping charitable organizations raise funds, to Broadway, movies and scores of new recordings of his songs each year, Bacharach’s music is always nearby.
David, a native New Yorker, elevates the common pop song to fine art, showing sophistication and maturity in his lyrics. As an Academy Award-winning lyricist with 40 Top Ten songs, David has been honored for his way with words with every major award bestowed by the music industry, including numerous GRAMMY Awards, the NARM Presidential Award, and the B’Nai B’rith Creative Achievement Award.
David was awarded the prestigious GRAMMY Trustees Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and was also the first non-British person to receive the esteemed Ivor Novello Award from the British Performing Rights Society.
View a photo gallery from the concert.