Do you know the way to where?
Well, if you were headed for the oldest capital city in the U.S., the capital of New Mexico, and one of the most historic and artistic cities in America, I expect you would know the way to Santa Fe. But suppose it’s 1968 and you were a lyricist named Hal David writing the words to a song composed by Burt Bacharach? And suppose you, Hal David, had been stationed (while in the Navy years before) at a fondly remembered, then-sleepy farming community called San Jose, located a few hundred miles north of that great big freeway called Los Angeles? And finally, suppose you prevailed upon good friend Dionne Warwick to record it, although she “didn’t think much of the song and didn’t want to sing it” — and it became her biggest international seller and won Warwick her first Grammy Award?
Most of this I learned after becoming curious about the song that played a part in my last post (WAYS OF CULTIVATING KNOWLEDGE). Of course, I knew of the team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, who died 9/1/2012, shortly before this tribute appeared:
But what I didn’t recall was the sheer number of great songs written by Hal David, including DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO SAN JOSE? and the twenty others included in the above list, which invites you to click on and replay any of those songs which may be among your fondly-remembered favorites.
One interesting note about Hal that is not mentioned in the introduction to the list is that he was the nine-years-younger brother of another great songwriter, Mack David (7/5/12 – 12/30/93), who wrote the lyrics to over one thousand songs, including those in the Disney films CINDERELLA and ALICE IN WONDERLAND, as well as the mostly-English lyrics to Edith Piaf’s signature song LA VIE EN ROSE. But more on him another time.