The Burt Bacharach Forum is a board to discuss the music and career of composer Burt Bacharach and performers associated with his songs.
Burt has agreed to write the foreword to a forthcoming book called 'Anita Kerr - America's First Lady of Music'. Admirers of Burt may not realise that back in 1969 Burt attended the recording session of The Anita Kerr Singers making their tribute album to Burt and Hal David. Both Anita and Burt have told me they remember the session. The album 'The Anita Kerr Singers Reflect upon the Hits of Bacharach and David' reached number 162 on the Billboard Top 100, and the following year the group received a Grand Gala du Disque award in Holland. The book, which has taken over 4 years to complete is nearly finished, and you can imagine my delight when Burt appeared very happy to contribute. Should you wish any more information - here I am!!
The 'Reflect On The Hits Of Bacharach and David' is a nice album but the sad thing about it is the amount of time Anita Kerr and her singers must have spent on their otherwise lovely a cappella version of 'A House Is Not A Home' to make the harmonies sound as excuisite as they do, only to mess-up the opening line by singing "A chair is not a chair, even when there's no one sitting there". Yes, you read it correctly. "A chair is NOT a chair.....". It makes me wonder how such a fundamental mistake in lyric reading happened in the first place and why nobody involved with the making of the record appears to have noticed it before its release?
Gracious Sara D! So much for my attention to detail! Over the years I have never realised that. I own eighteen different versions of that song, and in my opinion the original Burt version is the best. Do you remember when they posted (for a short while) on YouTube, Burt apparently performing the demo with an orchestra. This was put there by Revolver TV, but removed shortly after. Anyway, I am going to speak with Anita tomorrow, and I will attempt to give you and the forum an answer.
That’s what I thought although Grilli is around in the north and centre of Italy.montemarciano is a cute place close to Ancona in the region of marche,with very nice folks.please give my love to the marvelous paisana if you can..ok. .? Thanks a million...ciao
'A House Is Not A Home' is not only one of my favourite Bacharach and David songs it's probably my favourite Hal David lyric and although it's a long time ago I'm pretty sure I detected that extraordinary blunder on first hearing. It's a terrible shame because as Sara states it's an otherwise beautiful rendition.Sara D wrote: ↑Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:35 amThe 'Reflect On The Hits Of Bacharach and David' is a nice album but the sad thing about it is the amount of time Anita Kerr and her singers must have spent on their otherwise lovely a cappella version of 'A House Is Not A Home' to make the harmonies sound as excuisite as they do, only to mess-up the opening line by singing "A chair is not a chair, even when there's no one sitting there". Yes, you read it correctly. "A chair is NOT a chair.....". It makes me wonder how such a fundamental mistake in lyric reading happened in the first place and why nobody involved with the making of the record appears to have noticed it before its release?
Yes, please do. Although I find it hard to believe, I suppose she might, just might, have spent the past fifty years in blissful ignorance of the error and you're the first person to raise the issue with her. I hope that's not the case for your sake.
As promised to SarahD. I did contact Anita this week. She has not been too well, and only recently come out of hospital. There was a silence when I mentioned it, followed by a comment from her husband which I cannot repeat here. Suffice to say, all the words you use are correct. Bearing in mind that both Burt and Anita have confirmed they were at the recording session, it is truly remarkable. It is tempting to mention it in the forthcoming book, but I would not wish to offend Anita in any way. She is an exceptionally gentle, quietly spoken individual, who has always kept a very low profile in the music industry. You may be interested to learn that Burt was full of praise for her during our 15 minute conversation, and amongst other comments said "she is one of those rare people to function at different levels." Although I contacted Richard Carpenter and Dave Grusin regarding the foreword, I was always hoping it would be Burt to step forward! Unfortunately, most of Anita's contemporaries have departed this world, but again it may interest the forum to learn I had a long conversation with the legendary Pat Boone.
After just over 4 years the book on Anita Kerr is finally finished! The front cover mentions that the foreword is by Burt, and you can imagine how proud that makes me feel! My goal is to personally present the book, initially to Anita and her husband, before the publication button is pressed. The page total is 288 with extensive photographs, including 5 rare photos which were purchased from the Country Music Hall of Fame when Anita was at the peak of her powers in Nashville. For those people unaware of her career, she left Nashville in 1965 to expand her horizons, moving to Los Angeles to do more pop orientated music, before finally settling down in Europe. You would be astounded at all the artists she has worked with, including one track for Elvis ('Tomorrow Night')! Yet she barely gets a mention in most music reference books. It was delightful speaking with Burt, discovering how knowledgeable he was about her.
Finally, an update on the book. Because of flight difficulties, I was unable to visit Anita in Europe, but had a Zoom meeting with her two daughters which lasted for nearly two hours. Although the book is ready for publication, they have expressed their concern about certain aspects; one being that Anita would have liked a hard cover instead of a paperback. Apparently, Anita continues to be in poor health, and her husband is also ailing. They have requested I find a publisher to give it a final professional quality 'feel' about it. My labour of musical love and admiration continues on .........
Hi Brian. Thanks for your encouragement. I know the book will not be a massive seller, but her musical legacy needs to be put into print. In my opinion, she is the great untold story of popular music. Now approaching 93 years of age, she lives on the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland. The fact that Burt phoned me, would tell you the esteem she is held by other musicians. The forum may be interested to learn that Burt was very particular in that his words spoken were accurately quoted for the foreword. The 20 minute conversation was focused entirely upon Anita, unlike some musicians who prefer to focus upon themselves!
At long last I have an update on the forthcoming book with the foreword written by Burt. Anita (now 93) has given the go ahead through her two daughters for imminent publication. The latest delay is the 'bonus material' which is taking the form of unreleased music that has to be cleared by Warner Brothers. However, the final page count will be 286 pages, with the most exhaustive discography ever published on America's first lady of music!