About Gene Pitney
With his urgent, keening voice and pathos-ridden songs, Gene Pitney had some huge hits in the early 1960s ("Town Without Pity," "Only Love Can Break a Heart"), all just a little off-kilter and sinister, and was by far the most substantive of the era's teen idols. He was equally successful as a songwriter for other artists, though. Ricky Nelson's "Hello Mary Lou" and the Crystals' "He's a Rebel" bore Pitney's name, as did songs recorded by everyone from Roy Orbison to Nick Cave. Along the way, the eclectic, unpredictable Pitney recorded albums of country music and Italian songs, and even played on an early Rolling Stones session. He died in 2006.
- Hartford, CT, United States of America
- 17 February 1940