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George Jones and Gene Pitney

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Album Review

When George Jones left United Artists to join Musicor in 1965, it was decided to start off with a duet recording session with teen idol (and labelmate) Gene Pitney. The session resulted in two duet albums — George Jones & Gene Pitney and It's Country Time Again — as well as a solo country album by Pitney, The Country Side of Gene Pitney. Bear Family's George Jones & Gene Pitney collects the 31 songs recorded during these sessions. For a seemingly unlikely pairing, the two complemented each other well, with Pitney proving himself not only a fan of the genre but also a competent country singer as well. Though only two hits came from the albums ("Love Bug" and the brilliant "Thing Have Gone to Pieces" — the latter absent from this collection for some reason), this disc captures some truly inspired moments by both artists. In light of the scarcity of good CD collections of George Jones' Musicor recordings, this disc is essential to anyone who wants a complete picture of Jones' career.

Biography

Born: 17 February 1941 in Hartford, CT

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the most interesting and difficult-to-categorize singers in '60s pop, Gene Pitney had a long run of hits distinguished by his pained, one-of-a-kind melodramatic wail. Pitney is sometimes characterized (or dismissed) as a shallow teen idol-type prone to operatic ballads. It's true that some of his biggest hits — "Town Without Pity," "Only Love Can Break a Heart," "I'm Gonna Be Strong," "It Hurts to Be in Love," and "Twenty...
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