Burt Bacharach/Hal David: Do You Know the Way to Santa Fe?

Written by Charles McKay

In category: Song of the Day

Published August 15, 2019

My journey through the 1960s continues.

Billboard’s Top Seller – “Hey Jude” by the Beatles

Grammy for Record of the Year (1969) – “Mrs. Robinson,” Paul Simon & Roy Halee (producers) performed by Simon & Garfunkel

Grammy for Song of the Year (1969) – “Little Green Apples” by Bobby Russell (songwriter) performed by Roger Miller / O.C. Smith

Grammy for Album of the Year (1969) – By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Al De Lory (producer) & Glen Campbell

It’s been a challenge to pick just one or two songs from the wealth of choices from year to year, and again 1968 was no exception with the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, Aretha Franklin, the Supremes, Herb Alpert, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, and Glen Campbell just to mention a few. I turned 13 in early January 1968, half-way through 7th grade. I suppose looking back the transition from elementary school to junior high could have been challenging but thankfully, I had the support and experience of three older siblings to rely on, and as I recall things went rather smoothly. So for 1968, I am offering a smooth easy-listening pop song that I enjoyed then and still do to this day, “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” by Burt Bacharach & Hal David and performed by Dionne Warwick, for which she won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary-Pop Performance (Female). (It’s hard to believe that it was her first Grammy Award!) The song came during the most successful period in Warwick’s career and was one of her top selling international hits with over 3,500,000 copies sold worldwide.

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Leading NYFOS’s administrative team, Charles McKay has a longstanding devotion to vocal music. Prior to his time with NYFOS, he enjoyed a long career at Carnegie Hall, including programming the Great Singers concert series and developing professional training residencies, including the legendary Robert Shaw Choral Workshop.

1 Comment

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    When I was a little girl, this song fascinated me. Dionne’s casual-sounding phrasing suit the feeling and lyrics to perfection and have such a lazy-dazy vibe while being totally in the pocket at every second. But I think beyond that, to my child’s ear that was something epic-sounding about the arrangement that at once thrilled me and made me sad, a kind of pre-nostalgia for life’s disappointments. That descending woah-woah-woah and the solitary drum at the end are amazing.


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