Friday, February 25, 2011


The songwriting/production team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David had been struck by Dionne Warwick's work as a session singer on The Drifters' "Mexican Divorce" in February 1962 and subsequently Warwick had regularly vocalized on demos of compositions by that Bacharach/David team, beginning with the song "Make It Easy on Yourself". Florence Greenberg of Scepter Records had signed Warwick after hearing her voice on the demo for "It's Love that Really Counts" although Greenberg did not wish to release that song as a single by Warwick ("It's Love That Really Counts" was given to the Shirelles to serve as a B-side); Greenberg also rejected "Make It Easy on Yourself" which was subsequently placed with Jerry Butler. Warwick had hoped "Make It Easy on Yourself" would serve as her recording debut. On learning from Bacharach and David that Jerry Butler was recording the song, a keenly disappointed Warwick dismissed the team's assurance of writing her an equally potent song with the words: "Don't make me over, man" - i.e. "Don't con me". Bacharach and David in fact utilized Warwick's pessimistic response as the title for "Don't Make Me Over" shifting the meaning of the phrase to "Accept me as I am"The first of over 56 singles Warwick placed on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart between 1962 and 1998, "Don't Make Me Over" was inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000. That same year Warwick recorded and released a revamped and updated version of "Don't Make Me Over" on her album Dionne Sings Dionne II, roughly thirty-eight years after recording the original version.

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