The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

When Legends Gather #518

Gene Pitney and Dusty Springfield


Vanwall said...

Dang, she'd've et 'im alive.

Flynn D said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Nellhaus said...

The two best singers of songs by Bacharach and David.

Tommy O'C said...

Dang, she'd've et 'im alive.

Well, they did meet and he seems to have survived the encounter just fine.

With all respect to the talented and sexy Dusty (who left us much too soon), she wasn't the artist that Pitney was.

Read Pitney's Wikipedia bio and/or his NYT obit. He was a major talent and one of the few Yanks to survive the British invasion.

And Pitney's version of Bacharach's and David's "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" was spot on. A classic take on a classic film.

hc said...

Backstage they're lonely.

Pitney is early David/Bacharach, Dionne and Dusty are early/middle(best)era D/B

Dusty was the artist Pitney was, and probably then some, but why put them in a horse race? Springfield had a much bigger career overall but that's not faulting Pitney, who was great. Warwick's career (hit-wise)probably dwarfed them both.

Too bad Pitney's ambitions diminished, or maybe he would have tried some of the stuff Springfield tried, like working out of Memphis. Anyway Pitney's upper range put him in a niche market.

As far as Pitney/Bacharach goes, who can top 24 Hours From Tulsa, with that whiplash guitar? It's the perfect Western/noir James M Cain moment

hc said...

O course The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, which is a great song, wasn't used in the picture.

And for trivia hounds, the Bacharach/David song Alfie was sung (pretty badly) by Cher at the end of the US release of the picture, not Dionne Warwick

Tommy O'C said...

Dusty was the artist Pitney was, and probably then some..."Then some"? Pitney was a singer-songwriter. Dusty was not.

Edge: Pitney.

hc said...

ok, if you must--If you want to claim Pitney as a writer you can suggest that Hello Mary Lou and He's A Rebel were high water marks for Brill Building brilliance. Or not. All of Pitney's hits but one were written by others. Springfield had a much longer career and cut many more, and generally better, songs. I love Pitney, but Springfield had a bigger career--Pitney bottomed out a few years earlier than Springfield, and he might have, but didn't, cut anything as spectacular as Dusty In Memphis.