Artist: Gene Pitney
Label: United Artists / Musicor Records
Country: New Zealand
Format: 7” 45rpm Vinyl
Release Date: 1962
Signed to songwriter Aaron Schroeder's newly formed Musicor label in 1961, Pitney scored his first chart single, which made the Top 40, the self-penned "(I Wanna) Love My Life Away", on which he played several instruments and multi-tracked the vocals. He followed that same year with his first Top 20 single, the title song from the film Town Without Pity starring Kirk Douglas. Written by Dimitri Tiomkin and Ned Washington, the song won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Pitney performed the song at the Oscars ceremony on April 9, 1962 (honoring the film year of 1961). The song lost the Academy Award to "Moon River". Many years later, "Town Without Pity" would be the last song Gene Pitney would sing in public, at a gig in south Wales before his death at the age of 66.
Pitney is also remembered for Burt Bacharach-Hal David song "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", which peaked at No. 4 in 1962. Though it shares a title with a 1962 John Ford western with the same title, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, starring John Wayne, the song was not used in the film because of a publishing dispute between Famous Music and Paramount Pictures. The song became a Top 10 hit for Pitney. The chorus of the Pitney recording features two hard strikes on a drum in order to represent the shots that were fired.
Gene Pitney himself later said: "The song 'Liberty Valance' was written for the movie but for some strange reason never was put in the soundtrack. Because of the prior success with 'Town Without Pity,' I was paid a bundle to record the song, and Burt Bacharach produced it. He wrote the song with Hal David.”
Jimmie Rodgers also recorded the song, in the Gene Pitney style. James Taylor covered the song on his 1985 album That's Why I'm Here. The Royal Guardsmen also covered the song on their 1967 album Snoopy vs. the Red Baron. The Gene Pitney version, however, remains the definitive recording, and is available on numerous LP's and CD's.
Regrettably, the film’s actual soundtrack has never been put on vinyl or CD, for sale to the public. The film's dramatically hard-driving music score was composed by Cyril J. Mockridge. In certain scenes involving the character of Hallie, Ford used part of Alfred Newman's "Ann Rutledge Theme" from his earlier film Young Mr. Lincoln. Ford told Peter Bogdanovich in the latter's book John Ford that the theme evoked the same meaning, lost love, in both films.
A Side: (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance (2:49)
Written by B. Bacharach & H. David
B Side: Take It Like A Man (2:20)
Written by J. Leiber & M. Stoller
Master Cylinder Bootleg Soundtrack
There are mentions on certain internet websites of this bootleg CD soundtrack, however, I have not been able to confirm its existence. As with other bootleg soundtracks from the "Master Cylinder" series of bootlegs, this CD will no doubt contain what is known as a "DVD Rip" soundtrack - which consists of clipped music recorded from the DVD sound files, and which may also contain snippets of background noise and dialog.