They're Playing Our Song: A Memoir

With more than 400 writing credits to her name, it's no surprise that Carole Bayer Sager's memoir, They're Playing Our Song, is as captivating, thoughtful and memorable as her lyrics--which have won her a slew of awards, including an Oscar, Grammy and two Golden Globes. She began writing songs in high school and was immediately successful. Her first record ("Groovy Kind of Love" for The Mindbenders) went to #1. Soon, she was creating hits for and with Neil Sedaka, Melissa Manchester, Peter Allen, Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond and Bette Midler (she describes writing songs with the demanding Miss M as "a ten-day They Shoot Horses Don't They?-like marathon"). A speedy lyricist, the first time she met Marvin Hamlisch, they wrote the James Bond theme "Nobody Does It Better." They began dating, and a year later they had collaborated with Neil Simon on a Broadway musical based on their lives called They're Playing Our Song.

In 1980, after things with Hamlisch ended, she began dating and collaborating with Burt Bacharach. She was his muse and they produced hits together (including the Oscar-winning "Arthur's Theme" and the AIDS anthem "That's What Friends Are For"), but their marriage was discordant. Bacharach proved to be a controlling, philandering narcissist whose casual cruel remarks chipped away at Sager's fragile self-esteem. At their wedding, he said, "I'll try," rather than "I do."

Sager's brutally honest examination of her failed marriage with Bacharach is the book's core, and it's riveting, raw and visceral. At the same time, Sager's memoir is chock-full of celebrity dish and backstage tales that will delight music fans. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant

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