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American singer/songwriter, musician and engineer. He was born February 17, 1940 in Hartford, Connecticut and died in a hotel after a gig on April 5, 2006 in Cardiff, Wales, UK. At the beginning of his musical career Pitney cut a few records under different pseudonyms, as Jamie & Jane with Ginny Arnell in 1958 and as Billy Bryan in 1959. Between 1961 and 1964 he recorded 7 songs by songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David, getting into the the U.S. Billboard Top Ten in 1962 twice with songs by the team ("Only Love Can Break a Heart" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance"). Pitney's greatest success as a songwriter came with The Crystals recording of his composition "He's a Rebel," which was number 1 in the U.S. at the same time that Pitney's recording of the Bacharach-David song "Only Love Can Break a Heart" was at number 2.
During the mid-1960s, Musicor Records, owned by his manager Aaron Schroeder, frequently paired Pitney in the recording studio with Musicor country artists George Jones (2) and Melba Montgomery. Later in the decade, Pitney found more success in the U.K. and Europe.
Inducted into Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 (Performer).
Gene Francis Alan Pitney (February 17, 1940 – April 5, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter and musician.Pitney charted 16 top-40 hits in the United States, four in the top ten. In the United Kingdom, he had 22 top-40 hit singles, including 11 in the top ten. Among his most famous hits are "Town Without Pity", "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance", "Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa", "I'm Gonna Be Strong", "It Hurts to Be in Love", and "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart". He also wrote the early-1960s hits "Rubber Ball" recorded by Bobby Vee, "Hello Mary Lou" by Ricky Nelson, and "He's a Rebel" by the Crystals. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.