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592 Gene Pitney (1940-2006) “Only Love Can Break a Heart” 1962

“In 1961,...you had to know how to sing. You couldn't just caterwaul, mewl or look pretty and hope for the best from the recording engineer; you had to have a real voice. Nowhere was the competition fiercer than on street corners and subway platforms in the Northeast, where turf battles were fought daily with rhythm and pitch and harmony and the neighborhood referees had ears tougher than those of any ‘American Idol’ panel. The singers left standing, boy-kings like Dion, Frankie Valli and Lou Christie, had serious vocal chops, usually fermented in rampant hormones, two-pack-a-day habits and residual hot-dog brine. Gene Pitney was the David among these Goliaths. He grew up not in the city but in the Connecticut exurbs. His hair was always neatly combed. He went to college. He married his longtime sweetheart and stayed married to her. He looked as if he'd be more comfortable in a choir than on a rock-'n'-roll tour bus. But when he opened his mouth to sing, the playing field was leveled” (Rob Hoerburger, New York Times Magazine, 12/31/2006).

Gene Pitney “Only Love Can Break a Heart”


This post first appeared on Rock My Soul: An Audio History Of Rock & Roll, please read the originial post: here

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592 Gene Pitney (1940-2006) “Only Love Can Break a Heart” 1962

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