Gene Francis Alan Pitney (February 17, 1941 – April 5, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter. He was also an accomplished guitarist, pianist, drummer and skilled sound engineer. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Through the mid-1960s, he enjoyed considerable success as a recording artist on both sides of the Atlantic. As a performer, he charted 16 Top 40 hit singles in the U.S., four of which reached the Top Ten. In the UK, the figures were even more impressive: 22 top 40 hits, and 11 Top Tens. As a songwriter, he also penned the big early 1960s hits "He's a Rebel" by The Crystals, and "Hello Mary Lou" by Rick Nelson.
Pitney was among a small group of early 1960s American artists and acts such as Roy Orbison, Bobby Vinton, The Four Seasons, Jan and Dean, Jay and the Americans, The Beach Boys, and The Supremes that continued to enjoy big radio hits after the British Invasion arrived in the United States in 1964.
Pitney died on April 5, 2006, aged 65. He was found dead by his tour manager in the Hilton Hotel, in Cardiff, Wales, in the middle of a UK tour. His final show at Cardiff's St.David's Hall was deemed a huge success, with a standing ovation, ending the show with his 1961 hit, "Town Without Pity." An autopsy confirmed the singer died of heart disease, brought on by hardening of the arteries. He was survived by his wife, Lynn, and three sons.