Malibu Seen / By Kim Devore

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Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick and Hal David gather for a little love, sweet love at the Music Center. Photo by Vince Bucci

What the World Needs Now

He’s the man behind a million musical memories and has written standards for some of the world’s brightest stars, but for one night, it was Hal David’s turn in the spotlight. The occasion was the legendary composer’s 90th birthday.

Longtime friends like Burt Bacharach gathered at the Music Center in Los Angeles to pay tribute during an unforgettable concert featuring locals and longtime collaborators like Malibu’s Herb Alpert as well as Dwight Yoakam, Liz Callaway, Jackie DeShannon, Lani Hall, Albert Hammond, Michele Lee, Smokey Robinson, Valerie Simpson, B.J. Thomas, Steve Tyrell and Paul Williams.

Eunice David chaired the evening. Malibu’s Eva and Marc Stern served as honorary chairs as well as Merle and Peter Mullin.

Proceeds from the all-star evening of music, feasting and song benefited The Blue Ribbon of the Music Center and The ASCAP Foundation.

President of The Blue Ribbon Constance Towers Gavin called the music maker “a true American treasure.” She was quick to add, “few individuals have brought as much joy into the lives of generations throughout the world as our honoree. For all of us who know him, Hal is every bit as unforgettable as the words he has given us. How fitting to celebrate this milestone birthday here at our beautiful Music Center.”

The Academy Award-winning lyricist is an icon in the music industry. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head,” “This Guy’s in Love With You,” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” are just three of the hits in a string of standards written by David. “Don’t Make Me Over,” “Close to You” and “Walk on By” are all in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Among Hal David’s million-sellers are “Do You Know the Way to San Jose,” “Walk on By,” “What The World Needs Now is Love,” “I Say A Little Prayer,” “There’s Always Something There to Remind Me” and “One Less Bell to Answer.”

David has been honored for his way with words with every major award bestowed upon the music industry, including 20 gold records, several Grammys, an Academy Award and the NARM Presidential Award.

He has also been elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has been presented with their coveted Johnny Mercer Award. Hal was awarded with the prestigious Grammy Trustees Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and received the esteemed Ivor Novello Award from the British Performing Rights Society. He was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame for his many country hits, including “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” which garnered a Top Country Hit of the Year Award.

Hal and friends were also treated to an enormous black, white and red birthday cake decorated with stars and musical notes.

The evening wrapped up with a surprise performance by the one and only Stevie Wonder. Now that’s a lot of love, sweet love!