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Gonna Be Strong

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Like many others, I was sorry to hear of the death of singer Gene Pitney at age 65. Pitney was a true original who has unfairly been lumped in with other, less substantial “teen idol” singers of the early ’60s. Unlike all those Bobbys and Fabians, however, he was also a talented songwriter in his own right with great ear for other songwriters — be them known (best ever male interpreter of Bacharach-David) or unknown (also recorded early songs by Mick Jagger/Keith Richards and Randy Newman). He was also the kindest, most approachable famous person I know of. Back in the mid ’90s, Pitney was among the few celebrities to have an active part in his own AOL discussion group. People would constantly ask him questions, both stupid and interesting — and he would always answer each one cheerfully and with great insight into his unique career. I’ll miss him.

4 Thoughts on “Gonna Be Strong

  1. Nancy on April 7, 2006 at 6:03 am said:

    Town Without Pity, baby. Town Without Pity.

  2. Well, that’s actually not one of his better songs. So campy and overwrought — sorry, Nancy! No offense intended!

    If I were to steer a Pitney novice to a good song of his, I’d pick “24 Hours from Tulsa” , “It Hurts To Be In Love” or “Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart”. Amazing voice on all of them.

  3. Nancy on April 8, 2006 at 6:45 am said:

    Who said better songs? It’s just classic. Campy yes, but still…

  4. I kinda like “Just One Smile” or “Backstage (I’m Lonely)”–a lot of the 1965-forward material. What a shame. So underrated and mostly forgotten in the US.

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