HarperCollins has acquired world rights to Burt Bacharach’s life story, ANYONE WHO HAD A HEART. Written with Robert Greenfield and told in Bacharach’s own words, the book will recount the life and times of a true American icon who has composed many of the most important popular songs of the last century. The deal was negotiated by Jonathan Burnham, Senior VP, Publisher, Harper and Claire Wachtel, Executive Editor, Harper with Amy Schiffman and Brian Lipson from Intellectual Property Group. The book is tentatively scheduled for publication in November 2012.
Jonathan Burnham says, “Burt Bacharach is one of the icons of the American songbook, up there with the greats, and his life story encompasses many different eras of popular music. His story will give fascinating insight into a complex life and a rich legacy of extraordinary songs.”
Over the course of his long and astonishing career, Bacharach has had seventy Top Forty hits, won three Academy Awards, eight Grammys (including the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award), an Emmy, and been nominated for a Tony Award. Along with his longtime songwriting partner Hal David, Bacharach was recently named the winner of the prestigious Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, an award previously given to Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, and Paul McCartney.
Bacharach’s songs have been recorded by countless artists, Elvis Presley and The Beatles among them. For three years, Bacharach toured the world as the musical arranger and conductor for the legendary Marlene Dietrich. Bacharach has composed some of the most memorable film scores of all time; written music for the Broadway stage; produced a variety of artists of every generation in the studio, and continues to appear as a solo performer in concerts all over the world.
While the list of his accomplishments is overwhelming, Bacharach has also led a particularly American life that contains all the storybook elements of a great Hollywood movie. Having written countless songs about the never ending search for love and the heartbreak that comes when it is lost, Bacharach’s first three marriages to singer Paula Stewart, actress Angie Dickinson, and songwriter Carole Bayer Sager ended in divorce. His long running partnership with Hal David fell apart after they wrote the sound track for a movie that was such an artistic and commercial disaster that the two men wound up suing one another and did not speak for seventeen years. Bacharach’s daughter Nikki committed suicide at the age of forty.
Throughout it all, Bacharach has steadfastly continued to pursue his muse. As powerful and moving as Burt Bacharach’s most unforgettable songs, ANYONE WHO HAD A HEART will provide readers with a backstage pass to a world of show business that no longer exists. It will also give them an up close and personal look at the life of an artist whose incredible body of work has earned him a unique position in the American cultural landscape while also providing the sound track for the lives of millions of devoted fans all over the world.