Hal David at 90

Kristin Chenoweth, Dionne Warwick & Smokey Robinson Get Set to Salute Hal David at 90


Acclaimed lyricist Hal David turned 90 in May and to celebrate his birthday, David’s legendary admirers are amassing to present a musical tribute Oct. 17 to benefit the ASCAP Foundation and the Blue Ribbon of the Music Center of Los Angeles. Borrowing a few words from one of David’s familiar tunes, the event – named “Love, Sweet, Love” – will pair a star-studded concert at the Mark Taper Forum with a gourmet dinner at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  

Considering that David is one of the most beloved songwriters of all time, it comes as no surprise that participating talent will include an abundance of world-renowned musical talent. Joining in are David’s long-time collaborators, composer Burt Bacharach and singer Dionne Warwick; plus Kristin Chenoweth, Herb Alpert, Dwight Yoakum, Freda Payne, Jackie DeShannon, Lani Hall, Michele Lee, Smokey Robinson, Valerie Simpson, B.J. Thomas, Steve Tyrell, Albert Hammond, the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) Vocal Jazz Ensemble and others. Academy Award-winning composer Paul Williams will preside as emcee.

David’s lyrical repertoire is packed with beloved songs, such as “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” “We Have All the Time In the World,” “One Less Bell to Answer,” Grammy Hall of Fame inductees, “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Close to You” and “Walk on By,” and the Grammy Award-winning score for “Promises, Promises.”  

David won an Academy Award for “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head” from the film, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and the Songwriters Hall of Fame has given him the Johnny Mercer Award and named the Hal David Starlight Award in his honor.  For more than five decades, David’s words have been part of pop culture.

The tune for which the event is named, “What the World Needs Now is Love,” has not only been sung by numerous top artists, but also has been featured on the TV shows “30 Rock” and “American Idol,” and in the movie soundtracks of “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery,” “Forrest Gump,” and others.

Proceeds will be shared by the Blue Ribbon of the Musical Center for its educational, cultural and community programs, including the annual Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival; and ASCAP, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, for its foundation, which nurtures young talent and preserves the musical legacy of the past. 

Photos below come from a June luncheon that event co-chair Ricki Ring hosted at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills for committee members, who include event chair Eunice David, Blue Ribbon president Constance Towers Gavin, dinner committee chair Donanne Kasikci, plus Judith Beckmen, Joan Hotchkis, Judith Krantz, Joyce Kresa, Joni Smith, Carol Goldsmith, Louise Korshak. Susan Rothenberg, Joy Fein, Judith Krantz and others. Merle and Peter Mullin and Eva and Marc Stern are honorary chairs. 

For more information about the tribute to Hal David at 90, call 213 972-3347.

Photo: Hal David (courtesy of Katy Sweet & Associates.) 

Note: This event has taken place since this article was written – to read details, click here. 



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Hal David at 90

Published Sept. 21, 2011 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA