Burt Bacharach Hearts NPR

May 8, 2013

First off, a warning: If you're like us, you'll find yourself singing Burt Bacharach tunes for the rest of the day after you listen to his interview with Weekend Edition Saturday. But it's pretty hard to be in a bad mood while singing about raindrops falling on your head, so listen away.

In an interview with NPR Host Scott Simon, Bacharach (excuse me, Burt, as he insisted Simon call him) talked about his prolific music career, which is captured in a new autobiography Anyone Who Had a Heart. By the numbers, the songwriter has 73 hits on the Top 40 chart, and has won multiple Oscars in addition to the Gershwin Prize. To be fair, he also told NPR about the 80 songs he wrote over two years that weren't hits.

"You want to forget about those. Not every one is a gem," he said.

This songwriter's career is more than the sum of his awards and chart-toppers. Listen to the interview to hear Burt talk about the advice he's never forgotten: Never be afraid of something that you can whistle; and how he wrote a song about rain for a rainless scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

If that's not enough, you'll also hear snippets of many of his songs, including "That's What Friends Are For" and the process of writing it with his then-wife Carole Bayer Sager. On his way out, rather than just "Walk On By," (sorry, couldn't resist), Burt showed NPR a little of "What the World Needs Now."

Love. Sweet love.

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