Sunday Music – Burt Bacharach – Odds And Ends – The Story Of My Life

Posted on Sun 02/14/2021 by

2


By Anton Lang ~

Burt Bacharach and Hal David

Today’s music video is Odds And Ends and is sung here by Dionne Warwick. This song was written by the legendary songwriting duo of Burt Bacharach who wrote the music and Hal David who wrote the lyrics. Because this song was somewhat obscure, even when first recorded in 1969, there are no videos of Dionne singing the song, and in fact not many videos of this song even featuring her at all, so this is why this video is a little bland with just inserted images to sort of match the lyrics.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by Matt Patton

I first heard this song back when it was first released in 1969, and I was just 18 years old. The only constant access to music we had in 1969 was on radio, and here in Australia at that time, it was just AM radio. This was in the days long before ear buds, mobile phones, and even before Walkmans, and also long before Compact Discs. So, to play your own music, you had to buy the record, either the LPs or the 45s, and then you had to have access to a record player and a hi-fi system. So, in 99% of cases, that’s all there was, AM radio.

I liked this song as soon as I heard it, and I was perhaps on my own, as none of my friends even knew of the song. Even then, the song was barely played on radio, as it was not a hit, and in fact, similar to what happened in the U.S. the song did not even make it onto the Top 40, so it was very rarely played at all, so it came and went pretty quickly.

The song was Odds And Ends and was sung by the already famous Dionne Warwick. She had a list of hits dating back to 1962, and as big as she was in the U.S. she was just as big here in Australia. I knew her songs and while a huge star, she was just one of many female singers, and there were so many of them at the time. I liked her songs, but not enough to buy one of her albums, and my album collection was just starting out back in 1969. However, this song was one of hers I did really like enough to want to go out and get hold of it on record, and good luck with that. I looked at all her LPs, and nothing, not even a mention of the song. I even tried to find it on a small 45, but again, nothing. I found out many years later, years after the Internet finally did start up that the song was never released on a Dionne Warwick album, not even a compilation, and it only appeared on a short lived 45, did not make it into any charts in the U.S. or anywhere for that fact other than on the relatively obscure at the time, Adult Contemporary Chart in the U.S. where it did get into the Top Ten.

I never forgot the song, and it’s like that with some songs, and as I have said so many times, your individual tastes in music rarely match others tastes in music. Over the years in between, I occasionally heard the song on radio, very rarely.

Around mid 2002, I did find it. We were at a local large shopping Mall, and while my good lady wife was having a Perm at her hairdressers, I wandered around the Mall, trying to consume time. I spent an hour in a bookshop, somewhere I loved to hang out, just to see what there was I could pencil in to read. I had a Pot of Earl Grey tea at one of the many coffee shops in that huge Mall at Runaway Bay, and on my way back to the hairdressers, I stopped in at the large Music store, as I still had almost a half an hour still to wait. I was just browsing in the A to Z section of popular music and I saw a CD featuring Burt Bacharach’s songs, and that’s an image of that CD at right, a Double CD titled The Look Of Love – The Burt Bacharach Collection. I looked down the song list on the back, and there it was, Odds And Ends, sung by Dionne Warwick. Without even looking further, I took the case to the counter, the young man got the CDs, and I paid for it then and there. As soon as I got home, I played it, trying to remember the last time I heard the song, now probably four or five years. Now I could play it whenever I wanted to hear it.

And therein lies a quirk with music. You can hear songs you think are okay, and after hearing them a number of times, you grow heartily sick of hearing them. Yet, with songs you remember so strongly, and so fondly, you never tire of hearing them, and to this day, I still love hearing this song.

A few days later, having played both CDs at least three times or more, I was reading the small insert 16 page lift out booklet included with the CD. I was quite literally amazed at the who’s who of recording artists who sang his songs, nearly all of them co written with lyricist Hal David. I knew he was prolific with the songs he wrote, but I was not really aware of the very large number of music stars who did record his songs and make them hits. There were 50 songs on these two CDs, and so many of them were hits, and for so many different artists and bands, and I was also amazed at the length of his career, now forty years, at that time when I got hold of that CD.

That leads me to the very first of his songs, and that became his first hit as well, reaching Number One on the Country charts. That was back in 1957. Burt was just 29, and he was working in that famed Brill Building in New York. He was teamed up with lyricist Hal David, now nearly 40, and the pair was just starting out as a team, words and music. Their big breakthrough came when Marty Robbins heard one song of theirs and asked to record it. This was a big thing, as Marty Robbins was already a huge name in music, He recorded that song, The Story Of My Life, and it became a Number One hit on the Country charts, and crossed over to almost make it into the Top Ten on the main Popular Music chart. Another aspect of that song was that it was recorded by Columbia Records, and at that time, their in house arranger who did all the arrangements and led all the musicians was the also legendary big band leader Ray Conniff.

A year later, Burt and Hal wrote Magic Moments a huge hit and a Top Five charting song for Perry Como, and now, their futures were assured, and recording artists from across the Country wanted songs from them. Burt was actually the one who ‘discovered’ Dionne Warwick. She was just a backing singer, and when Burt heard her singing, he saw the beauty in that singing voice, and approached her to sing songs he could ‘pitch’ to record companies to see if they would find artists for his songs. One of those early songs he had Dionne sing was then pitched to Scepter Records in a song Burt wanted The Shirelles to sing. The President of the record company sent a message back to Burt ….. “Forget the song. Get the girl.” Burt then signed Dionne Warwick up to his own production company, and in that way, he could control what she sang, without interference from any of the record companies. It also helped that Dionne herself was so knowledgeable about music, so working with Burt, he could then set her harder tasks with music that other artists might struggle with. That’s why so many Bacharach/David songs were sung by Dionne and made into huge hits, and she recorded an astonishing 38 songs from this pair of songwriters. That may seem a lot of songs but here’s the link to a list of songs written by Burt Bacharach, and he wrote with a number of others as well as just Hal David, and on this list are 99 songs, and as you look down that list, note the number of artists mentioned, and that’s an awful lot of star power right there.

He has won six Grammy Awards, and three Academy Awards as well.

The second video here is of that Marty Robbins song The Story Of My Life, and again, because the song is from so long ago, 1957, there are no real viable clips of Marty singing the song, so this is also just a compilation of images over his original recording of the song.

These are just two of the songs from Burt Bacharach, perhaps one of the greatest songwriters of the modern music era.

Link to Video at You Tube

This video was posted to You Tube by tommy194070

Anton Lang uses the screen name of TonyfromOz, and he writes at this site, PA Pundits International on topics related to electrical power generation, from all sources, concentrating mainly on Renewable Power, and how the two most favoured methods of renewable power generation, Wind Power and all versions of Solar Power, fail comprehensively to deliver levels of power required to replace traditional power generation. His Bio is at this link.

Posted in: Music, Personal