Singer Gene Pitney

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on May 21, 2006

Can you give any current information on the singer Gene Pitney? I have all his albums from the "old days," but know nothing about his career now.
—Connie Gamble Ochse, Jacksonville, N.C.

The 65-year-old singer of "Only Love Can Break a Heart" and "Town Without Pity" died in his sleep of natural causes in April. He was in the middle of a British tour and had earned a standing ovation just hours before his death. In 1962, Pitney, who also wrote "Hello Mary Lou" for Ricky Nelson, became the first pop singer to perform at Hollywood's Academy Awards. A true international star who also recorded songs in Italian and Spanish, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and continued to be a popular concert draw. He and his wife, Lynne, lived in Connecticut, not far from where Pitney was born and raised.