|1||The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance|
Gene 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 Ricky Nelson. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Pitney was born in Hartford, Connecticut, and grew up in Rockville, now part of Vernon, Connecticut. His early influences were Clyde McPhatter, country-blues singer Moon Mullican and doo-wop groups like The Crows. He attended Rockville High School, at which he was named "the Rockville Rocket", and where he formed his first band, Gene & the Genials. He made records as part of a duo called Jamie and Jane with Ginny Arnell (who in late 1963 had a solo hit, "Dumb Head"), and in 1959 recorded a single as Billy Bryan. The first of the two Decca 45s as Jamie and Jane was "Snuggle Up, Baby," a cover of a song Charlie Gracie recorded at Cameo 1957 or early 1958, which remained unreleased until London Records released Gracie's original version in Europe in 1978.