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Gene Pitney
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    (February 17, 1940-April 5, 2006)
    Born in Hartford, Connecticut
    Recorded '(I Wanna) Love My Life Away' (1961), 'Town Without Pity' (1962), '(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance' (1962), 'Only Love Can Break a Heart' (1962), 'Half Heaven Half Heartbreak' (1963), 'Mecca' (1963), 'Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa' (1963), 'It Hurts to Be in Love' (1964), 'I'm Gonna Be Strong' (1964), 'Last Chance to Turn Around' (1965), 'She's a Heartbreaker' (1968) and 'Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart' (duet with Marc Almond, 1989)
    Wrote 'He's a Rebel' for The Crystals, 'Hello Mary Lou' for Rick Nelson and 'Rubber Ball' for Bobby Vee
    Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2002)
    Died in Cardiff, Wales, during a British tour
    He dropped out of college to become a songwriter.
    His recording of 'The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance' was rejected as a theme for the movie.
    He was more popular in Europe than the US.
    Although 'Something's Got a Hold of My Heart' topped the British charts, Pitney's US label refused to release it on the grounds that listeners would think it was a duet by two gay men.
    He was also a qualified taxidermist.
    His biggest US hit, 'Only Love Can Break a Heart,' reached #2 the same week the Crystals' version of his 'He's a Rebel' topped the charts.
    He was the first rock singer to perform at the Oscar ceremony when he sang 'Town Without Pity.'
    His cover of 'That Girl Belongs to Yesterday' was the first song written by Mick Jaggerand Keith Richards to chart in the US.
    Burt Bacharach said, 'He was a rare talent and his voice was unlike any other.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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