A holiday gift from Burt and Rumer

As many of you know, Burt Bacharach has recently been busy writing songs with lyricist Steven Sater for a new musical based on the O. Henry story “The Gift of the Magi.” Burt has written 18 new songs for the project with Sater, the Tony Award-winning playwright and lyricist responsible for Spring Awakening, and the pair has also collaborated on a handful of singles for vocalists including Mario Biondi (“Something That Was Beautiful”) and Karima (“Just Walk Away”).

RumerWhile a full production of The Gift of the Magi isn’t expected until fall/winter 2011, f ans got

an early holiday gift on Dec. 13 in the form of a new Christmas EP by the British vocalist Rumer. Rumer Sings Bacharach at Christmas features the debut of “Some Lovers,” one of the new Bacharach-Sater songs written for Gift of the Magi. Based on this composition, I think it’s safe to say that fans of Burt’s classic pop sound have a lot to look forward to.

Rumer Sings Bacharach at Christmas, which also includes her recording of the Bacharach-David classic “Alfie,” isn’t yet available via iTunes in the U.S., but you can purchase it—as both a digital download and a limited edition 7″ vinyl version—by visiting Rumer’s official website.

Linda Dozoretz

Has it really been five months (!) since my last pos

t? Wow. To repeat yet again what has become my signature phrase, sorry for the lack of updates. Hopefully over the holidays I’ll have a little more time to catch up with everything.

Linda DozoretzAs some of you might know, Linda Dozoretz passed away on Nov. 9 in Los Angeles. Linda had been Burt Bacharach’s publicist for many years, and it was in that context that I first met her. In the early days of this website, I was a little reluctant to reach out to Burt’s management because I thought the site should maintain some degree of distance. I wanted to be able to discuss Burt’s music and career without any pressure to focus only on the positive, and I guess I thought that cultivating a relationship with Burt’s publicity people would be a slippery slope toward the site becoming just an extension of their PR efforts. At some point, I contacted Linda’s office to try to get a list of upcoming concerts but was unsuccessful, and I posted something to that effect on the site. Not long after that, Linda contacted me personally, introduced herself and apologized for the miscommunication. A little while later, I received Burt’s press kit, a list of his upcoming concerts and an autographed copy of The Music of Burt Bacharach, a promo-only box set of recordings. From that point on, she and her staff sent me regular updates on Burt’s activities. She never once asked me to promote something she’d sent, she never once asked me to remove something I or a fan had posted on the site, and she and her staff always responded promptly to my requests for info. Without a doubt, this website would not be what it is today were it not for Linda’s many contributions over the years. On a personal level, Linda was always extraordinarily friendly, helpful and supportive in the interactions I had with her, and it was through Linda that I’ve gotten the chance to meet Burt a few times. My heartfelt condolences go out to Linda’s family and friends at this difficult time.