Gene Pitney; Mother Teresa

Blog friend Lefty asked if those of us who engage in mixed CDs work with particular themes. I’ve been compiling a list of cover version for a future disc. One of the early tracks will be the Nylons doing a great version of Gene Pitney’s “Town without Pity.” Something I didn’t know until today: his recording of “Only Love Can Break a Heart”, written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, was kept out of the number one spot on the charts by The Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel,” written by Pitney. But my favorite Pitney song is another Bacharach/David tune, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”.
For me, the odd thing about Pitney, a 2002 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is that I didn’t discover him at his commercial peak, in the early 1960s, but rather from an oldies station in the 1980s. There would be a song I liked but didn’t know, and often as not, it would be Gene Pitney. He also wrote Ricky Nelson’s Hello Mary Lou, my favorite of Rick’s songs. “Hello, Mary Lou, goodbye, heart.”

Gene Pitney died today at the age of 65. Damn.

[Fred remembers Gene.]
I’ve learned that this has been bouncing around for a few weeks now, but I only discovered it today: some Indian director wants an unlikely “actress” to play Mother Teresa. To quote friend Dan, “The horror! The horror!”

A Super Choice

I got to thinking again about cable TV bundling. Sure, one probably knows if he or she wants want something such as the Weather Channel, Home Shopping Network, or the History Channel, though perhaps not – one might REALLY learn to enjoy Storm Stories. Or this on C-SPAN. But how would the novice viewer know exactly what an FX is, or a Bravo? Or perhaps one has channels one doesn’t even realize one has, then stumbles across it, and realizes, “Hey, that’s kind of interesting.”

Lydia grabbed hold of the remote last week – your comments about gender trends here – and I ended up on Movie Trailers on Demand, a station I didn’t even know I had, and probably would not have selected. I poked around the choices, and ended up seeing, among others, the trailer for the upcoming Superman Returns movie. It was interesting enough that I’m more inclined to see the film based on the iconic character than I was before.

Maybe there should be some way for cable subscribers to get a range of stations for a short time, with blocks on networks folks already know they don’t want in their homes – “no Playboy channel, but thanks anyway” – so that consumers can make more informed choices.

Or maybe that’s just too much pressure.
A tool to pervert the copyright law from its intended function, which was to reward creativity.

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