Barnaby Monk noon, Nov. 26
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Influences: Cole Porter, Harold Arlen
Songwriter and performer Burt Bacharach had a string of hits with partner Hal David, until a lean period through 1973 while Bacharach and his wife Angie Dickinson (Police Woman) kept a home near the Del Mar Racetrack. The Bacharach/David duo then collaborated on a musical version of the 1937 film Lost Horizon, only to see it flop miserably.
For a time, Bacharach withdrew into his Del Mar mansion. He told Soundwaves Magazine “I became a recluse. The breakup of Hal and I affected everything, and I didn’t even want the local townspeople in Del Mar to see me. I was kind of in hiding for awhile, just strolling the beach, I wasn’t even going to the track.”
A song from the show covered by the 5th Dimension “Living Together, Growing Together” was the last David/Bacharach song to appear on the Billboard charts, peaking at #32.
Bacharach sold the Del Mar house around 1980, when he divorced Dickinson (whom he met on a blind date arranged by his mom, marrying in 1966). An owner and breeder involved in thoroughbred racing for over thirty years, he still maintains a home in Santa Monica and frequently races steeds in San Diego, according to his Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Owner Profile.
This document also informs that the composer, as a youth, “came west for summer school at UCLA but spent most of his time at the beach and the racetrack” and his first Stakes winner horse was Advance Guard, who won the 1971 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. Bacharach's horse Crumbs won the 1975 El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar.
In 2011, it was announced that Some Lovers, a new musical Bacharach co-created with Tony-winning Steve Sater (Spring Awakening), would make its world premier at the Old Globe during the 2011/2012 season. Bacharach wrote the music for the production (based on the O. Henry story The Gift of the Magi), while Sater wrote the book and lyrics.