|Certainly one of the dominant figures of pop music during the 60s and 70s, Burt Bacharach wrote an incredible 52 top 40 hits during this period, and is still going strong after more than four decades of success. Born in 1928, Burt Bacharach grew up in New York City as the son of a syndicated newspaper columnist and a mom who insisted that he study music. As a teen, he used to sneak into the jazz clubs that lined 52nd Street at the time, to see the legendary musicians, and eventually started a band that played at resorts in the Catskills and on army bases. He studied music and composition, and served in the Army from 1950-52 in various music-related functions, where he met a young singer named Vic Damone and became Damone's accompanist upon leaving the service, getting professional seasoning working shows and clubs with Damone and other stars of the era. Musical history was made when Bacharach teamed up with lyricist Hal David in 1957, and the pair found almost instant success with hits for Marty Robbins ("The Story Of My Life") that year and Perry Como ("Magic Moments") in 1958. Bacharach and David continued their collaboration, and also worked with others. In 1962, Burt met a 20-year-old back-up singer for the Drifters named Marie Dionne Warwick (the niece of gospel singer Cissy Houston, who later had a daughter named...well, you know the story). Warwick immediately clicked with Burt's demanding vocal compositions, and the Bacharach-David-Warwick triumvirate ultimately were responsible for 20 top 40 hits over a ten-year period. Bacharach and David collaborated on the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Promises, Promises in 1968. The show ran for nearly 1,300 performances. In the early 70s the Bacharach-David-Warwick alliance broke apart midst suing and counter suing, and Burt went into semi-retirement, emerging in the 80s with songs including the theme from Arthur, with lyricist and wife-to-be Carole Bayer Sager, more records with Warwick and other music greats. After his divorce from Sager in 1991, Bacharach kept a low professional profile for a few years, but in 1993 reunited with Hal David and Dionne Warwick for "Sunny Weather Love", along with other projects. Although he's never really been away, the 70+-year-old composer has enjoyed renewed popularity of late, in TV concerts and live concert performances...even making a cameo appearance with Elvis Costello in Mike Myers' comedy Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. His latest compilation album, The Very Best Of Burt Bacharach, featuring vintage Bacharach tunes sung by the stars who made them famous, proves that Burt's music truly has timeless popularity.