One day a handsome man knocked at my door. He introduced himself. "My name is Burt Bachrach..." I invited him in and sized him up. He was young, very young and very handsome, and I have never seen such blue eyes. He went directly to the piano (there's always one in my suite), and said, "What song will you sing first?"

I stumbled over a chair, reacherd for my sheet music, hestated and turned towards him. "A song that Mitch Miller wrote for me, "Look Me Over Closely."

"Let me see it"

He leafed through the pages, and said, "You don't want this kind of arrangement to open with, do you?"

I stammered, "How do you picture this song?" "Like this," he answered. And he began to play as though he had known the melody for a long tie, but at a tempo that surprised me.

I tried it. Bachrach had infinite patience. He said I should let myself "get carried away". Naturally, I didn't know what he meant, but I did my job as well as I could, while hiding my weaknesses as much as possible.

My work also began to please Bachrach - my highest goal until the day he left. The applause, the calls and demands for encores from audiences all over the world were not important to me. It was enough for me to watch for the look in his eyes, and I could see whether my performance had been good or just average. From then on, I lived only for the performances and for him.

I had been dropped into a world about which I knew nothing, and I had suddenly found a teacher. With the force of a volcano erupting, Bachrach reshaped my songs and changed my act into a real show. Later it was to become a first-class 'one-woman show'.

Burt Bachrach possessed other assets that I think merit a mention - his estimable knowledge of acoustics, for one. Moreover, he was clever enough to know when to stop. When he knew that nothing more could be drawn from an orchestra, he would say, "That's all for today." And we felt that he was satisfied.

Up to now, I've spoken of the artist. Burt Bachrach, as a man, embodied everything a woman could wish for. He was considerate and tender, gallant and courageous, strong and sincere; but above all he was admirable, enormously delicate and loving. And he was reliable. His loyalty knew no bounds. How many men like that are there? For me he was the only one.


Loosely quoted from: MY LIFE by Marlene Dietrich (1989)