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!”