1965 Gene Pitney – Last Chance To Turn Around
Gene Pitney grew up in Connecticut and was a member of several bands in the late fifties. The first time he recorded came with a group called the Embers in 1958. Gene teamed up with Ginny Arnell, and they released a few singles as Jamie and Jane.
Gene also began writing songs that became hits for other artists. Bobby Vee recorded Rubber Ball in 1960, and the record reached the top ten the next year. Gene also wrote Hello, Mary Lou, which Ricky Nelson took into the top ten in 1961.
Gene finally wrote a successful song for himself that year as well. His recording of (I Wanna) Love My Life Away snuck up to #39 on the Hot 100.
By 1965, Gene had released ten more top forty singles in the US, four of which reached the top ten. Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote several of his hits.
Tony Bruno, Bob Elgin, and Vic Millrose wrote a song loosely based on a sign drivers pass while driving to Manhattan from Long Island: “Last Exit To Brooklyn.” Another song had already used that title, so they titled their song Last Chance To Turn Around. Gene produced his recording of the song, and the single peaked at #13 on the Hot 100 in 1967.
None of Gene’s records even reached the top fifteen again in the US, but six more of his singles reached the top ten in the UK. The last of those singles came in 1967. Gene released Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart, and while the single failed to reach the Hot 100, it peaked at #5 on the UK chart.
In 1987, Marc Almond and Gene recorded a duet of Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart. The single topped the UK chart the next year! The pair filmed a video for the song in Las Vegas.
They inducted Gene into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Gene died after a heart attack in 2006.
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