Eugene Francis Alan Pitney (February 17, 1940 – April 5, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter, musician, and sound engineer. Through the mid-1960s, he enjoyed success as a recording artist on both sides of the Atlantic and was among the group of early 1960s American acts who continued to enjoy hits after the British Invasion. Pitney charted 16 Top 40 hits in the U.S., four in the Top 10. In the UK he had 22 Top 40 hits, and 11 singles in the Top Ten. He also wrote the early 1960s hits "Rubber Ball" by Bobby Vee, "He's a Rebel" by The Crystals, and "Hello Mary Lou" by Rick Nelson. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Pitney died on April 5, 2006, aged 66. His tour manager found him dead in the Hilton Hotel, in Cardiff, Wales, in the middle of a UK tour. His final show at Cardiff's St. David's Hall earned him a standing ovation; he ended with "Town Without Pity". An autopsy confirmed that he had a heart disease, caused by atherosclerosis. He left a wife, Lynne, and three sons, Todd, Chris and David behind.
Marc Almond recorded "Backstage (I'm Lonely)" for his 2007 covers album "Stardom Road".
On 20 September 2007, a plaque to Pitney was unveiled at the town hall in his hometown of Rockville, Connecticut. Members of the family attended. The event was emceed by nationally known oldies radio DJ and Pitney friend "Wild" Wayne. The Gene Pitney Commemorative Committee established a music scholarship in Pitney's name. It is awarded annually to Rockville High School. In October 2008, an international fan convention was held in Rockville. In 2009 Gene Pitney was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
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