Singer-Songwriter Gene Pitney Dies in Wales

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Gene Pitney, whose duets with George Jones and Melba Montgomery hit the country charts in the ’60s, died Wednesday (April 5) after performing a concert in Cardiff, Wales. The 65-year-old singer was found dead in his hotel room. Police say he apparently died of natural causes. As a recording artist, his hits in the early ’60s included “Town Without Pity,” “(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance” and “Only Love Can Break a Heart.” As a songwriter, his credits include the Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel,” Bobby Vee’s “Rubber Ball” and Ricky Nelson’s “Hello Mary Lou.” The latter became a Top 10 hit for the Statler Brothers in 1985. Pitney and Jones reached No. 16 on the country singles chart in 1965 with the duet, “I’ve Got Five Dollars and It’s Saturday Night.” He charted four other singles with Jones and hit No. 15 in 1966 with “Baby Ain’t That Fine,” a duet with Montgomery. Pitney was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.