Gene Francis Alan Pitney was born on February 17, 1940, in Hartford, Connecticut.
An accomplished song writer, drummer, guitarist and pianist, he formed a band while in high school and in 1961 as a solo artist had his first hit, “I Wanna Love My Life Away,” followed by “Town Without Pity” that won a Golden Globe Award for Best Song in a Motion Picture and was nominated for an Academy Award.
In 1962 Gene Pitney had two top ten hits, “Liberty Valance” and “Only Love Can Break a Heart.” In 1964 his “It Hurts to be in Love” and “I’m Gonna Be Strong” also charted in the top ten. Among his other hits were, “Every Breath I Take,” “Half Heaven – Half Heartache,” “Mecca,” “True Love Never Runs Smooth,” “Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa,” “Last Chance to Turn Around,” “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” and “She’s A Heartbreaker.”
Gene Pitney toured internationally, recording in English, Spanish and Italian and wrote several hit songs for others, including “He’s a Rebel” for the Crystals, “Rubber Ball” for Bobby Vee, and “Hello Mary Lou” for Ricky Nelson.
While on tour in England, Gene Pitney died on April 5, 2006. He was 65 years of age and was laid to rest at Somers Center Cemetery in Somers, Connecticut
In 2002 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2009.