Wonderful Tunes Provided By Friends. Wild Tangents Provided By Me.

Posts tagged ‘Burt Bacharach’


I frequently mix up the “ABC/NBC Mystery Movie” network call letters but I never mix up the songs. This is the theme for the 1989 ABC series. Burt Bacharach wrote it after the birth of his daughter Nikki in 1966. At the time Nikki, who was born prematurely, was struggling for her life in the hospital. Hal David wrote lovely lyrics that expressed the hope and heartache Burt and Angie Dickinson must have been feeling at the time. I’ve seen the lyrics printed but I’ve never heard them sung. This beautiful instrumental version of the song is much more popular. I think it conveys the message just as well.

Today happens to be “Blog For Access Day.” Bloggers with an interest in disability issues are encouraged to devote their blogs to the subject today. I mention this because, tragically, Nikki Bacharach took her own life in 2007. A spokesperson said she was unable to cope with the effects of her Asperger’s syndrome. I have 4 (probably a couple more) family members who fall along the Asperger’s end of the autistic spectrum. Thankfully, most of them were born after 1994 when experts finally began correctly diagnosing it but a couple of them weren’t.

I grew up with a cousin who had AS before it had a name. Mostly we chalked her grumpy bookishness up to teenage angst but it was clearly more. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for her to grow up with this nameless difference but “not easy” is almost certainly an understatement. We had a pretty rocky relationship growing up but I have her to thank for my love of many things geeky. Happily my cousin’s story has a much happier ending than poor Nikki’s. She’s got a husband and three beautiful children. For the young people in my family living with autism the outlook is even brighter. I am sad that, even in 2007 when supports and resources were abundant and available, Nikki still couldn’t find any peace within herself and I’m very grateful that improved access means few others will suffer her fate.

Happy Birthday Burt Bacharach!

May 12 was Burt Bacharach’s 83rd birthday! I saw no info on a public gala scheduled to mark the occasion but I hope Burt is privately celebrating in style. Today’s clip is from the 1972 TV special “Chevrolet Presents Burt Bacharach” and it features the lovely and talented Vikki Carr singing “La Llama De Tú Amor” aka “The Look Of Love.”

I celebrated by rocking my entire Bacharach CD collection. Your evening is officially invalid.

Trains And Boats And Planes

Well today I’m off to Detroit! I picked the Burt Bacharach song “Trains And Boats And Planes” because it has lots of travel words in it. It turns out this is a deeply sad break up song so it doesn’t reflect my current mood at all. I am actually quite happy and excited about my trip! It doesn’t even reflect my mode of transportation because I’m driving. Still it is a great song and trains, boats, and planes are cool. This is Sandie Shaw singing.

I’ll catch you all on the flip side!

What The World Needs Now Is Certainly NOT More Violent Rhetoric…

Hal David and Burt Bacharach wrote “What The World Needs Now Is Love” for Dionne Warwick but she initially turned the song down. Jackie DeShannon recorded it in 1965 and it became her first hit. Dionne did eventually record the song for her 1967 album “Here Where There Is Love.” This was one of my absolute all time favorite songs when I was a kid. It still is as a matter of fact.

It’s a beautiful sentiment, especially in the wake of the recent tragedy. I was watching Jon Stewart’s message about the shootings last night. “People are still basically good and crazy is rarer than you think,” he said. I completely agree except it just takes one mad man to shatter hundreds of lives.

About 3 years ago, on Valentines day a man walked into a crowded lecture hall at the university where I worked and opened fire. He killed 5 people and then he killed himself. I wasn’t scheduled to work in the room that day but I had been in that room many times before and I was in that building nearly every day of my professional career. I’m fine of course. As I said I was nowhere near the scene of the crime at that time and it would be insulting to suggest that my experience even allows me to claim “near miss” trauma. But when I hear about senseless shootings like this it does give me serious pause. Stewart was right though, there’s no way to predict or prevent these tragedies but we can’t live our lives as if they’re lurking around every corner. All we can really do is love the people most precious to us, remember the people we’ve lost, practice peace in our words and deeds, and hope to heaven the leaders we choose to follow do the same! As for me, I will listen to Jackie DeShannon and try to remember a simpler time when everything I needed to know about guns I learned from Elmer Fudd and Quinn Martin.

Turkey Lurkey Time!

“Turkey Lurkey Time” is from the Broadway play “Promises! Promises!” which was based on the 1960 film “The Apartment.” The songs were written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and Michael Bennett provided the choreography. The show ran for 4 years and it produced several hit songs including the title track, “I Say A Little Prayer,” and “A House Is Not A Home.”

The Black woman with the fabulous ‘fro is Barbara Alston who got her start singing with 60s girl group The Crystals. If you look carefully you’ll notice she appears to kick one of the other dancers around 1:41. The Asian woman is Baayork Lee who is currently working as a director and choreographer.  The lead dancer is Julane Stites who is also currently working as a choreographer and dance educator. A You Tube commenter says this performance is from the Ed Sullivan show in 1970. It seems perfectly plausible but I couldn’t confirm that.

We are gearing up for Christmas here at House Beautiful too. My daughter got her first present a week early. It’s a bright red Betta fish which she has named Daffodil. I tried to cover all the basics of fish care like cleaning and feeding and also the not-so-basics like “No, fish do not enjoy snuggling or Skittles®.” The Beautiful Girl has embraced her role as fish Mama with gusto! I only hope Daffodil is strong enough to survive that much love.

Old Fashioned Love Letters From Dusty Springfield

Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote “The Look Of Love” for the 1967 spy movie spoof  “Casino Royale” and Dusty recorded it for the film soundtrack. By all accounts, it was a pretty terrible movie. The song, however, was nominated for an Academy Award. It lost to “Talk To The Animals” from “Dr. Doolittle” which is a terrible injustice to such a gorgeous song!

I was born without the flirtation gene so all those hints and signals that lead to meaningful looks of love are utterly lost on me. Anything as understated as a smoldering glance I’d probably just interpret as gas or astigmatism. If guy wants to feel my arms around him, he would have to be as subtle as a rock hammer. His best bet would probably be sending me a note that says “I like you. Do you like me? Check One:___yes ___no.”  Who says romance is dead?

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