The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance / Oddity No. 1

That Song …

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance / sung by Gene Pitney 
Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach

It’s no secret that a popular song can be a powerful way to promote a Movie. It’s been done plenty of times. And The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a great song – and Gene Pitney was a great singer
and a popular Artist at the time.
Why pick Gene to sing the song it at all?
You’d figure for a Western Movie you’d call for a Country Music Star. No?
There were lots around.
How about Johnny Cash for instance?
I bet he would have done a great job.
… in my own research of over 20 other Artists who have done versions of the song, I couldn’t find even one that I considered was better or equal to Pitney’s! And more that a couple seemed to deliberately mimic him.
Seems he was the right choice after all.
Good on you Gene.
(Incidentally, I own quite a bit of Gene’s music.)

The 45 RPM Record Sleeve
The 45 RPM Vinyl Record
Remember those?
Possibly not.

More …
The song was never used in the Movie!
Most people don’t notice this (for some reason).
Despite spending 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart
peaking at No. 4, it was never included!.

Wikipedia reports:
“Pitney stated that the recording session was paid for by Paramount (who made the Movie), and that it was midway through the effort when he found out that the song was not going to be included in the film”.
He apparently didn’t even know this until the film had
already been released!

The song was ranked No. 36 in
The Western Writers of America’s list
of the Top 100 Western Songs of all Time.”


Author: jcalberta

Howdy! I love Westerns. ... and the intent of is to celebrate Western Movies/Film - old and new. This site will eventually show my top 30 favorite Westerns - or more. I will have original graphic work with regular updates. All this - and more ... Yee Haw ... !! - jcablerta / Moderator / Administrator

2 thoughts on “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance / Oddity No. 1”

  1. Thanks. Gene was such a distinctive singer .. you cant forget his voice .. hence his long career.

    Regards Thom

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