Blue On Blue

An Ivy Style reader recently submitted this fine photo of composer Burt Bacharach circa 1966. Fans of the Great American Songbook will likely consider him the last in a line of succession that stretches back to the parlor tunes of the early 1900s. After Bacharach’s hits for Dionne Warwick in the late ’60s and early ’70s, popular music would take a different tune. It would certainly become less adult, and recording artists would either write their own material or rely on a different breed of songwriter no longer working in the tradition of greats like Cole Porter and George Gershwin.

As a little kid in the ’70s, I’d hear Bacharach’s songs in supermarket, sung by Warwick or the fragile Karen Carpenter. Later, as an adult developing appreciation of the great vocalists, I’d buy old vinyl albums of Jack Jones singing “Wives And Lovers,” which Bacharach composed in 3/4 time (just don’t blame him for the lyrics), and hear Bobby Vinton on the oldies radio station singing the song from which this post takes its headline. And finally, as a dabbler at the piano, I’d discover his sheet music and see how he worked his magic, such as the fortissimo climax of “This Guy’s In Love With You” from 1968. Here in Eb, it reaches its finale on an otherwise unspectacular chord of Bb, the dominant of Eb, save for the subtle and ingenious movement between Bbmaj7 and Bb7. That’s all he needed to do to bring the song to peak drama.

Burt Bacharach is still alive and kicking at the age of 89. If you’re young and unfamiliar with Bacharach, please investigate him on YouTube, Spotify, or your local garage sale. Below are a few more shots of interest, including Bacharach in seersucker jacket and tab collar, and in double-breasted blazer with buttondown. — CC

12 Comments on "Blue On Blue"

  1. Icon. First photo is terrific! Class.

  2. Richard Meyer | July 23, 2017 at 8:22 am |

    His father, Bert, often wrote about men’s style.

  3. Hal David

  4. .And a very successful horse owner.

  5. john carlos | July 23, 2017 at 7:34 pm |

    CC, a great post. I’m 67 years young. That music back then was an important part of my life. Great memories plus I was discovering trad clothing. A magical time in my life. The music has changed but not my penchant for trad clothing.

  6. Clane Machirrica | July 23, 2017 at 11:30 pm |

    Nice group of photos. Great to see him with Dusty Springfield. She had a hit with his song “The Look of Love.”

  7. Blue Pinpoint | July 24, 2017 at 1:33 am |

    More:

    Bert Bacharach, father of songwriter Burt Bacharach, was a buyer of menswear for department stores during the 1920’s. When he was left jobless during the Depression, he established Buyers’ Outlook, a trade paper, and in 1933 began writing columns for Men’s Wear magazine and for the Daily News Record. Bacharach came to be regarded as an authority on men’s fashion during the 1930’s and served as a consultant to Macy’s and other stores. During the late 1940’s and early 1950’s he was fashion editor for Pic and Collier’s magazines and from 1960 to 1978 was the author of the syndicated column “Now See Here.”

  8. Vern Trotter | July 24, 2017 at 11:40 am |

    Burt grew up in that great section of NYC, Forest Hills. Could also be found in August at America’s greatest racetrack, in my opinion, Saratoga. Married for years to Angie Dickinson, said to have been an intimate of JFK & Sinatra, before their marriage. He had great taste and was usually seen in Ivy Style duds. Nice pictures.

  9. Vern Trotter | July 24, 2017 at 11:53 am |

    Mea Culpa. I assumed that Burt had gone to that great jazz gig in the sky. Looks like he is still with us.

  10. Nikki is one of my favorite instrumentals. The title is the name of Burt and Angie Dickinson’s daughter. The music is really touching and her troubled life can be felt in its poignant melody.

  11. Charlottesville | July 25, 2017 at 2:17 pm |

    I also love the tab collar with seersucker in the second pic. Great look.

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